Roppongi Area Bar and Club Guide 2012 – Part 6: Motown

Gaien Higashi Dori – Motown

Motown, the next bar in the review of the main bar and club strip is a long standing Roppongi institution, with an older, though certainly no wiser, clientele to the big clubs further up the road…

This is the fate which awaits Heartland should they ever really give the green light for some of the scene’s more colorful lasses to chase after their preferred quarry, the ubiquitous (around here at least) cashed up, aging male expat professional. I’m told this place used to fill the Heartland role prior to the latter’s opening in 2004. Since then it seems to have..ahh…blossomed not into a grand old dame, but rather into the role of blacker sheep of the “regular” bars that have the greatest renowned for catering to this group.

A hat tip though to the bar for making little attempt to mislead us into thinking this was a place we could take anyone that you didn’t wish interesting times inflicted upon.Which of course, makes it a perfect place to head with your mates.

For anyone needing a rough idea on Motown, think back to a garden variety bad kid in the 1980’s; decked out in as much black as possible and then some, dim, smelling of smoke, chicks of dubious reputations hanging around, be they his step-mother, sister or girlfriends. Not to mention a serious risk that your lunch money will end up in their pockets in a way that doesn’t quite square with the law (well not the bar staff who seem perfectly honest, but the punters in this case – there are warning signs all about the  any responsibility in cases of theft). Also not to mention being in possession of a 80’s heavy playlist that sounds like it’s been pinched (by a devoted punter of course) from the DJ’s booth of a strip club dubiously plonked out in the middle of nowhere in a movies which aestheticising violence, perhaps starring Michael Madsen.

That all said, like Darth Vader, there remains traces of light under that lovingly dark and mangled destructive monster. There are plenty of regular guys and gals with office jobs who duck in here after work, particularly on Friday evenings, and of the latter, the word is that they seem to be more keen for something to happen on the night than say, the typical Heartland girl, who might at least expect a few drinks and maybe dinner beforehand.

My guess is that this has become something approaching common knowledge here as the place can get horribly crowded on Friday nights to the point the crowd becomes like a living jellatenous substance that seemed to ooze out of the wall when someone, perhaps a ladyboy hooker short of cash, stuck the same fork in the wall, releasing scores of people who’d trapped since at least the early 1990’s.

Nonetheless Motown has a fun vibe about it and I recommend it for a guy over 30, especially one too drunk or coked up for Heartland or A971, or just looking to kick on. More so again after the last train has carted away the less serious punters. It also seems to attract a relatively decent sized crowd during the week.


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