Chiba Is the Word

The secret is out on the hip, cyberpunk watering hole.

At the time of its 1982 release, the cyberpunk film Blade Runner underperformed at the box office. Today, however, its considered one of the sci-fi greats. Similarly, Chiba Barafter a whole yearis now being recognized as one of the best bars in Colorado Springs. We have never advertised, but weve grown tremendously of recent,” says Michael Carsten, proprietor of the Kiowa Street izakaya, or Japanese pub. I think the secret is out. 

Chiba Bar takes its name from another 1980s cyberpunk source, William Gibsons novel Neuromancer. Inside is a large mural of an android, and several muted televisions play clips from Godzilla movies, kung fu films and anime. But with any establishment of character and quality, its the people behind the stick and in the kitchen who create the experience. The pedigree of people working here is exceptional,” Carsten says. Its unbelievable. Theyve had other opportunities, but want to be here. Our chef, James Davis, his standards.… I mean, he kicked me out of my own kitchen for two months. I had to earn my way back in. 

For provisions, the most popular drink is the Lychee Buck, a gin mule utilizing the Asian fruit of tropical lychee trees. After that, its either the spirit-forward Neuromancer or the Carthusian Sazerac. Carstens own favorite is Molly Millions: gin, cucumber, lime, mint, rose and bitters. The winning food items are the tuna donburi and the unagi bowl. Carsten calls part of the menu Japanese country food: rural dishes, simple but interesting.” 

Find It

Chiba Bar, 19 E. Kiowa St., 

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