West Village is now home to a Japanese-American cocktail bar from a team of three industry heavyweights — a two-level affair intended to be a casual, cheeky combination of Japanese and American bar traditions.
Katana Kitten, located at 531 Hudson St. at Charles Street, comes from bartender Masahiro Urushido (Saxon and Parole), manager James Tune (Boilermaker, Pegu Club), and partner Greg Boehm, the owner of bar ware company Cocktail Kingdom who’s also involved in Existing Conditions.
Despite previous experience for ambitious cocktail making, the trio created Katana Kitten to be an accessible party place. Both the music levels and the decor is loud, playing on the Japanese-American angle with tons of famed American movie posters that advertise Japanese release dates.
A downstairs area pulls vibes from the Golden Gai district of Tokyo, where lots of tiny themed bars are tightly packed together. Tune describes it as a “dark, basement-y” kind of space. It’s table service and quite different from the upstairs, but serving the same menu of food and drink. “It’s weird in a good way,” Urushido says.
The drink menu is slim, with five highballs, five signature cocktails, and five boilermakers, which are souped up versions of the traditional dive bar beer-and-shot deal. One option comes with seasonal fruit, while another accompanies a Sapporo with Toki Japanese whisky.
And for food, the team draws from both izakaya fare and traditional American bar food. Expect deviled eggs with miso and salmon roe, fries with nori, a version of a Japanese deli-style egg salad sandwich, and fried meat and vegetable skewers. Take a look at the full menu below.
Katana Kitten is now open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily.