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Beatbox Is a Hidden NYC Whiskey Lounge for VIPs of the Hit Restaurant Kono

There's a secret space within the restaurant's dining room where you can enjoy an album in its entirety.

Records in Beatbox Kono

In New York City, there are tons of places where you could sip on some rare whiskey or listen to a good album. But few, if any, combine the two experiences in an intimate space like Beatbox, a new whiskey lounge and listening room from the Kono team.

For the past year, chef Atsushi “ATS” Kono has been at the helm of one of the most exciting restaurants in the city, serving up a chicken yakitori omakase to just 14 diners at a time. Now, in a secret space within the dining room, Kono is giving his regulars and VIP guests a spot even more exclusive, where they can chill out, have a drink, and appreciate a record front to back.

Some of the whiskey selection at Beatbox
Some of the whiskey selection Kono

The focus on music may seem out of place to those who aren’t familiar with Kono’s backstory. In his past life, the chef was a DJ and b-boy with the Bronx’s Rock Steady Crew. And he’s long had a love of music: His personal record collection includes more than 2,000 vinyls. Created alongside his partner Selwyn Chan, another audiophile, Beatbox seems like a natural extension for him, and the two have collaborated with Beam Suntory to bring it to life.

Within the dimly lit, soundproofed space, you’ll be able to choose from a selection of solely Japanese whiskies (just those in the Beam Suntory portfolio to start, with more options coming soon). Two-ounce pours are served neat, on the rocks, or in a highball, or you can pick a bottle from the Reserve list. If you opt for one of those rare or collectible whiskies, you’ll also get an engraved bottle tag to keep your alcohol safe until you return for another visit.

A seating area in Beatbox
A cozy spot for whiskey drinking and album listening Kono

With your drink of choice in hand, you’re invited to lean back on the velvet loveseat and listen to a record in its entirety. Beatbox’s selection of albums is focused on jazz, funk, and old-school hip-hop, and some of the lounge’s featured selections hang on the wall above the turntable, allowing them to work double-duty as functional pieces of art. If your musical tastes skew otherwise, you can bring in one of your favorite vinyls to listen to over the hi-fi sound system.

Comprising just 100 square feet, Beatbox is suited best for groups of two or three, although up to four can be accommodated. Right now, reservations are being kept for restaurant regulars only, and you can request one via email or by DM’ing the lounge’s private Instagram account.

Seems like it’s time to get on Kono’s good side, if you haven’t already.

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