I was able to visit Commune 246, the cool food court that is hidden in a back area next to the trendy Omotesando shopping area.
While Commune 246 closed down at the end of 2016, the location has been reborn on January 2017 as Commune 2nd.
In the beginning, the goal was to create a location to reduce waste and introduce contents using green energy. So, spaces were made for eating and food carts, connecting the city and people.
While near Omotesando, the location is considered the Minami Aoyama area in the Minato ward. And it’s a hip place to eat, whether you are a vegan or omnivore, the place has a lot to offer. And when you are done, there are more than enough cool places to visit as Omotesando is just across the street.
TonPai Kitchen (now known as TonPai Chicken) is a karaage specialty shop. Their karaage is made with their original sauce and fresh veggies, fruit and cilantro. They also serve basic Thai menu items, Thai curry and sorbet cocktails made of fresh fruit.
Next door is Seasons Stand by BLUE MOON, which serves “BLUE MOON,” America’s number one craft beer which is made from natural ingredients. They also offer cocktail beers which have been carefully selected to pair with their seasonal food menu.
Brooklyn Ribbon Fries specializes in French fries & ginger ale made by Brooklyn chef Kiyo Shinoki. Their ribbon fries are made from May Queen potatoes carefully grown in Hokkaido. The unique texture and shape of the ribbon fries bring out the flavor of the potatoes, and their original ginger ale is the perfect complement. After drinking ginger ale from all over the world, Chef Kiyo created his own ginger ale syrup recipe which balances spicy and savory flavors by blending raw ginger with several kinds of spices.
In an interview with Commune 2nd, store manager Hisaya Suzuki explained why french fries and ginger ale, “Brooklyn is a place where many people who used to live in Manhattan began moving to after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. This is how Brooklyn developed. We wanted to make a shop in Japan that embodied Brooklyn’s craftsmanship, so we decided to specialize in Brooklyn’s soul food – ginger ale and french fries.”
Shinoki continued, “As for the ginger syrup, our owner made it after 2 years of trial and error. We put a lot of care into the syrup, since we wanted our customers to be able to make their own drinks with it. Of course, we give them our recipe, but we also want to hear about their original recipes as well. We wanted to create a movement based on the communication that is born from this curiosity. We weren’t purposely avoiding going into the food business, but our ultimate goal was the overseas expansion of our business based on craftsmanship. So, the next shop we opened in Komazawa became a restaurant and factory that also makes syrup.”
A popular food stand at Commune 2nd is CORI. VEGAN, which serves healthy vegan food with organic vegetables, carefully selected ingredients and seasoning.
From an interview with Commune 2nd and owners Asami and Masaomi Tara, the two said about their food stand, “We named it after broccoli. Broccoli is often referred to as “The Crown Jewel of Nutrition” and is known for it’s rich nutrition. So we took the name from the “coli” at the end of “broccoli” with the thought that everyone should be healthy and happy. The spelling is a little different though.”
FISH COOP serves street style fish dishes using fresh seafood. Along with their regular menu, they offer a seasonal menu featuring fresh seafood and the chef’s special. FISH COOP serves a variety of drinks from wine to spirits.
With an interview from Commune 2nd with owner Ryohei Watanabe, Watanabe said about Fish Coop, “Our main concept is ‘to encourage the Japanese Fish industry’, so we serve dishes using Japanese seafood. As there are not many chances to interact with the Fish industry for people living in the city, I started this shop to make the industry more accessible. I mainly do some real estate business, and 8 years ago I became involved in agriculture at FARM CAMPUS, which is located in Chiba and runs a cafe at a traditional house. After working in agriculture, I also wanted to get involved in the fish industry, another major industry, since I love fishing. I built up my farm to consider another way of thinking about the primary industry, community, and lifestyle. Therefore, I started FISH COOP as a model for redefining those three. I hope FISH COOP can be an interface between the fish industry and our customers.”
Also, you can find SCHMATZ, the “happy sound” in German. A place to find their speciality schnitzel burger, sausage, curry wurst and other authentic German foods. Especially imported German craft beer.
Commune 2nd interviewed founder Marc Luetten about bringing German food to Tokyo, “We started SCHMATZ because we wanted to bring modern German beer and food to Tokyo. We love Japan and see a strong connection between the Germans and the Japanese, who love beer and delicious food, appreciate craftsmanship, and work hard to create a fun guest experience. In the beginning, we had a shop at 246 COMMON *1. Being at 246 COMMON has allowed us to participate in the community that supported SCHMATZ from the beginning. We were welcomed with open arms and have made many friends. Through COMMUNE 246*2, we have had the good fortune of working with interesting people and serving guests from all over Tokyo and the world.”
And they place offers so much more! If you are craving for vegetarian food, seafood, Italian food or just hungry. And if you are craving for a beer or sorbet? Take a short walk from Omotesando to Minami Aoyama and check out Commune 2nd. You’ll love it!