Skip to main content

Wandering bartender Tetsuji Ono explores cocktails to suit people and food



A circle of friends connected by goo touch! The “FIST BUMP” corner of the radio program “GRAND MARQUEE” features people who live and enjoy Tokyo in a relay format.

On October 10, wandering bartender Tetsushi Ono will appear. We asked him about how he became a bartender, his title of “wandering bartender,” and mainly about how he communicates when serving cocktails at his restaurant.

What inspired me to become a bartender was Tom Cruise.

Celeina (MC): Let me start by introducing his profile. Tetsuji Ono is a wandering bartender from Oita Prefecture. He started bartending in his hometown of Oita, later standing in bars in Yokohama and Tokyo, and currently works as a bartender at the Chinese restaurant “Nanpu-ro” in Ginza. At the same time, he travels around Japan as an event bartender for liquor manufacturers and importers.

Takano (MC): You are a wandering bartender because you bartend at events.

Ono: That’s right. I think it would be more accurate to say that I was a wanderer.

Takano: But sometimes you still wander, don’t you?

Ono: Yes, that’s right.

Celeina:Because you were wandering at Naeba this year, too, weren’t you?

Takano:That’s right. We were next to each other at the “Fuji Rock” event. We greeted each other. Johnny’s highball was delicious.

Ono: Thank you very much.

Takano: You are dressed in your usual attire today, and the silk hat suits you well.

Ono:It’s not self-branding, but there are not many bartenders who wear hats, so I thought it would stand out.

Takano:But you really wore that outfit at Fuji Rock, didn’t you?

Ono:We wear silk hats every year at Fuji Rock, and then all the other bartenders started wearing hats as well.

Takano: You are creating a bit of a culture.

Celeina: The vests are nice, but they also have name tags. It says “TETSU-G.”

Ono: I’m allowed to use it like a bartender’s name like that.

Celeina:Then it is “TETSU-G” instead of Mr. Ono.

Takano: I would like to ask you many questions, but what made you want to become a bartender in the first place?

Ono:When I was in junior high school, I got hooked on Tom Cruise and watched a lot of movies. Among them, I fell in love with the movie “Cocktails,” in which Tom Cruise plays a bartender. Tom Cruise has been in many movies, but bartending was the job that I thought I had the best chance of being in. I don’t think I could be a pilot, either.

Takano: Spying is not an easy job to become, either.

Ono:Yes, that’s right. Bartenders were the closest to me.

Takano:They look cool, don’t they? When they make cocktails, they throw shakers from their backs.

Ono:Throwing the bottle and turning it. That was cool.



NiEW recommends alternative music🆕

NiEW Best Music is a playlist featuring artists leading the music scene and offering alternative styles in our rapidly evolving society. Hailing from Tokyo, the NiEW editorial team proudly curates outstanding music that transcends size, genre, and nationality.