Bar Ikigai

Newcomer of the Year

This ‘bar within a bar’ is owned and run by hospitality veteran Luke Bensley who opened the Japanese themed bar in October 2020. Luke’s aim was to build a high end cocktail option within the Jewellery Quarter and he’s certainly achieved that.

Ikigai ee-key-guy) gets its name from combining the Japanese words “iki” (生き), meaning “life,” and “gai” (甲斐), which is used to describe value. Ikigai describes passion and purpose - it is the thing that makes life worthwhile.

Luke wanted to open a bar honouring Japanese flavours, traditions and hospitality ​since he visited the mesmerising country. The bar takes influence from Izakaya culture (post-work informal drinks with snacks), Ikigai at 1000 Trades brings a niche experience to the Birmingham Independent bar scene, with an array of Japanese spirits, flavourful cocktails and speciality sake.

Not sure what to order? The expert team are on hand with their Omakase (Japanese for ‘leave it to the chef’) options, giving the team full control, or perhaps you have a flavour pairing you’d like to challenge them with.

Luke has big plans in the future for Ikigai and is a worthy winner of the Newcomer award!