Shigure, the new sake bar atop B Flat, is officially open. It specializes in sake (more than 40 types, with hopes of bringing that number to 60), shochu, and beer made in Japan; wine is also available and hard liquor will be soon.
The space doesn’t look so different from when it was Ristorante Aglio or TriBeCafe, with industrial fixtures and a cozy atmosphere. For now, there are two notable pieces of decor. The first is a map of Japan painted on the rear wall. The country’s prefectures are each numbered, with corresponding numbers in the sake menu. “They’re for people who might find it easier to remember the number of the sake they tried instead of the name,” says Shigure’s Takahiro Okada, who had worked at Decibel, EN Japanese Brasserie, and most recently, Sushi Yasuda. The second piece of decor is a chalkboard with mysterious symbols drawn on it. “You know those charts for eye exams?” explains Okada’s partner, Jiro Yamada.
Shigure serves what Okada calls Japanese tapas. I figured that meant just enough food to keep you from falling off a barstool, but the pork belly pictured below makes me wonder if you couldn’t make a very satisfying meal here. The restaurant plans on offering lunch in the future, but right now it’s open only in the evenings, seven days a week (and closed Jan. 1).
P.S. The closest I can get to explaining the pronunciation is shih-guh-ray (it means a squall-like rain), although there may be a better way (please chime in!) and I’m not 100% sure the emphasis is on the first syllable.
Shigure is at 277 Church (between White and Franklin), 212-965-0200; facebook.com/sakebarshigure.