Just around the corner from Hondori, the main shopping street in Hiroshima, lies a kitsch, modern bar named Swallowtail. The bar is spread over three floors in this narrow little building and the ground floor is visible through a window paneled folding door which looks as though it opens up onto the street during warmer weather. Having named their bar after a butterfly that motif is visible throughout the bar and decorates the windows and menus inside.
On the ground floor there is a comfortable bar and stools that seat several people and past that, in a large corner surrounded by floor to ceiling shelves lined with CDs, is a high table and chairs. From here you can see out through the large window panels in the folding doors and it's a great place to people watch while enjoying a beer, cocktail or some tasty finger food.
Continuing up the stairs onto the first floor there is another small bar and several tables and chairs which had been joined together for a group while we were there. There is also a raised platform with more tables and chairs and a large flat screen television and this space would make a great venue for a small party.
My favorite part of the whole bar was the second floor. It's not so much a floor as a small balcony or raised level that floats over the tables on the floor below it. To reach it you climb a narrow set of steps from the first floor and if you stand you can easily touch the ceiling. On this floor you must take off your shoes when you reach the top of the stairs and then climb down into a little space with two low tables and cushions for sitting on. You can see and reach the beams that hold up the ceiling and it's such a cool, kooky little space.
This bar has a great atmosphere and a nice selection of beer, cocktails and small dishes of food at reasonable prices. The wooden floors and interesting decor work really well but what I especially love is the cozy little balcony area which is a great place to hide away and have a private drink and conversation.