Black Emperor Bar
Black Emperor Bar is an ode to the culture of the East Village, with a unique Japanese flair. First opening in May 2019, it quickly became a refuge for locals searching for the last of the authentic, old-school New York bars. Brought to life by seasoned NYC bar vets and longtime friends John Bush and Ben Rojo, Black Emperor was created for the neighborhood, by the neighborhood.
A culmination of their professional talents and meticulous eyes for customer experience, the bar features highly-sought after cocktails including their signature fresh squeezed Watermelon Margarita and refreshing Japanese cocktail Toki High Ball.
Patrons are also drawn to Black Emperor Bar for its specially curated pop-up kitchen, which welcomes an array of some of the city’s most talented chefs throughout the year. This idea not only offers a one-of-a-kind experience for guests, but also provides a brick-and-mortar space in the heart of the East Village where chefs can showcase their culinary expertise. Formerly home to the Chan family’s beloved Jade Mountain restaurant for nearly eight decades, the kitchen is also a tribute to the building’s history.
Aesthetically, Black Emperor Bar pays homage to 1990s Tokyo and the outsider culture. The walls are adorned with nods to Japanese culture including: Bosozoku (youth bikers), Ultraman, Irezumi (Japanese tattoo), fight sports, Godzilla, and comic books. The name itself is borrowed from a legendary teenage biker gang that reigned across Japan in the 60s, 70s and 80s. The gang championed youthful rebellion and doing things their own way, while providing a sense of brotherhood and community…a spirit that can certainly be felt as soon as you walk in the door.