Ala Champ


A Rich Cultural History Combined with a Refined Design Aesthetic at this Modern Luxe Hotel


An Intimate Luxury Hotel that Entwines Traditional Japanese Dining, Architecture and Hospitality with Modern Elegance


A Pure Interior Led By Playfulness and Surprise

The Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre

The Charred-Brick 'Black Box' Presenting The Beauty Of Theatre & Performance


British Artist Luke Jerram’s Explores The Vastness of Our Earth


The Legacy Remains: Merging Art & Fashion, East & West, Tradition & Technical Innovation


Local and Luxurious, A Melbourne Boutique Hotel That Gets It Right

Naoshima Ryokan ROKA

Designed by Okayama-based studio Nottuo, a New Modern Stay on Japan’s ‘Art Island’

Restaurang ÄNG

NORM Architects Creates A Light-Filled Glasshouse For The Michelin-Starred Restaurant


In The Quiet Backstreets Of Kyoto's South Higashiya, Find A Master Craftsman


As Ever, The Joy Of Movement & Ease of Pleats Prevails

Serpentine Pavilion 2022

Artist Theaster Gates Designs the 21st Pavilion


Argentinian-Australian Designer Alexander Lotersztain's Ode to Brutalism

Serpentine Pavilions 2000-2021

A Champ Online Retrospective Of Two Decades of The Radical Architectural Event


The Art Gallery of South Australia Presents Japan's Avant-Garde Ceramics


The Beauty Of Indian Textile Craftsmanship In ISSEY MIYAKE Sub-Brand HaaT's SS22 Collection


A Hidden Basement Bar Designed By Architect Takahiko Yanagisawa

August, 2019
The focus here is the taste, visual aesthetics and feeling | Little Smith

One of the world’s most elegant bars, Little Smith serves your favourite classic cocktails in the most refined way possible. Opened in 1993, the bar has not surprisingly served up some of the country’s finest bartenders.

Found in an unassumingly standard Tokyo grey business building (down a small elevator to the second basement floor, through a short walkway, then push a heavy steel door), Little Smith is a hidden gem found only by those in the know. Frequented by locals, it’s not easy to find if you’re a foreigner and used to a street-facing, open-door style bar, but the adventure is also what makes the destination even more worth the while.

Set around a striking wood bar, George Nakashima lounge chairs line the bar consuming the space with their presence. Their instantly-recognisable design is a key feature at the bar. Individual seats such as these at the bar make the experience even more personal, and highlight the premium quality of taste and aesthetics Little Smith seeks to refine. The bar’s ceiling is unusually tall, at 4 metres here. Renowned late architect Takahiko Yanagisawa designed the bar, and it bears his imprint of modest grandeur throughout. Yanagisawa was known for his work on the Yurakucho Mullion and the Opera City Tower (where the Museum of Contemporary Art lies), two of Tokyo’s most iconic landmarks.

Renowned late architect Takahiko Yanagisawa designed the bar | Little Smith

Cocktails are tailored to guests’ tastes, and classic recipes are bettered to the finest degree. There is no cocktail menu here, everything is custom made for the guest. The Little Smith Bloody Mary (“Fresh Fruit Tomato Martini”) is unique, whilst our Vodka Martini (shaken, with olives) was crisp and pure. It couldn’t have been any more perfect.

A cover charge of 1500 yen is required per person (to cover the bartender’s service and some light appetizers) and is a typical Japanese custom. We do prefer it over American-style tipping where there can be confusion over the right or wrong amount, at Little Smith the experience is simplified and delivered in a no-fuss way. Service by tuxedo-dressed bar staff is serious, and they’re extremely knowledgable and experienced.

Talk in the bar is held at a minimum, at a minimal volume, where the focus here really is the taste, visual aesthetics and feeling. The aim is to highlight the pleasures of the simplest – yet most refined – things in life.

Set around a striking wood bar, George Nakashima lounge chairs line the bar | Little Smith
There is no menu here, all drinks are tailor-made | Little Smith
Our Order: Vodka Martini | Little Smith

Little Smith

KN Building B2F 6-4-12 Ginza

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 6:00 – 3:00 Saturday 6:00 – 1:00


August, 2019