Spend any significant amount of time in Sapporo and it is probable that you will come upon, or more likely be taken to, a Woodpiece restaurant. What does this mean? Well, in this writer’s experience, it means you’re in for a good time. Woodpiece is the culinary brand of North Graphic, a Sapporo-based production company also invested in web design, auto-sales, and clothing. All North Graphic products have a signature hipness to them, which is most readily apparent in their restaurants.
For nearly a decade “Meer Lounge” has been a cozy, intimate space for innumerable dates, parties and late night revelry. As with all Woodpiece stores, the dishes are tasty and reasonably priced, with Lowenbrau on tap and available in a dangerously cheap all-you-can-drink (nomihoudai/ 飲み放題) course.
Following the victory with Meer Lounge, Woodpiece created “World Japanese Foodin EN” and “VALS” next, each distinct yet clearly products of the same recipe. The former features world foods with a Japanese interpretation, while the latter delivers western favorites like pasta and fish and chips with customary attention to detail. Both are lively spaces, chock full of modish guys and girls pretty much any night of the week.
With the confirmation that it was on to something, Woodpiece shifted into overdrive, delivering three more shops in rapid succession. “Peace” occupies prime Susukino real state right on the main east-west strip of Route 36. Small and rustic, its décor and menu of smoked dishes are evocative of the Wild West. “Lu Ran” brings us back east with a range of contemporary Chinese dishes. Reserve the 3rd floor VIP room for parties and enjoy having a private bar and bathroom at your disposal. “Barenwald” is Woodpiece’s German beer hall and they do a fine job of creating an authentic ambiance with heavy wooden furniture, long bars and impressive selection of taps. Beer is the focus here, with over thirty labels available between tap and bottle. Smoky and loud, it’s the closest you’ll get to Munich without having to board a jet.
Newest to the Woodpiece family is “FAM”, a yakiniku (grilled meat) joint guaranteed to be a hit. With three restaurants under that name up and running, it’s not a stretch to say it already is. Not just for carnivores, FAM’s menu caters to veggie and fish lovers without compromising flavor for variety.
Woodpiece’s consecutive triumphs can be attributed to a simple company ethos: make a cool place for cool people to eat cool (scrumptious) food. Boom! You’ve got yourself a success story. All of the restaurants named are in walking distance of one another, within the glowing downtown jewel that is Susukino. Swing into any one of them for a meal and leave satisfied, with plenty of money left over for your next destination.
Restaurants mentioned in this article:
Chuo Ward, Minami 3, Nishi 2, Sato Building B1 (Google map)
World Japanese Foodin EN
Chuo Ward, Minami 2, Nishi 6, Toi Building 1F (Google map)
Chuo Ward, Minami 3, Nishi 4, Tsubokawa Building 2F (Google map)
Chuo Ward, Minami 4, Nishi 1-4-2 (Google map)
Chuo Ward, Minami 3, Nishi 6 (Google map)
Chuo Ward, Minami 1, Nishi 9, Hokkai Building 1F (Google map)
Chuo Ward, Minami 3, Nishi 2 (Google map)
Photo Source: http://www.wood-piece.com/meerlounge