The Pink Cow

By Mark Ellis
I have traveled to many places in the world.  Wherever I go I try to find an establishment that feels comfortable, a place I can call my home away from home.  In Tokyo it’s easy to find a really good place to eat but it may be harder to find a good spot to hang out on Saturday nights.  I like having places in the city where I can just show up unannounced, and feel the night will be ok.  Just like that classic American TV hit, Cheers, I enjoy having a place where everybody knows my name. 
Several years ago I found just the establishment.  It’s called the Pink Cow and it is every bit as funky as its name. The Pink Cow is a restaurant.  If you go there you will find a great selection of delicious foods, which have been prepared by their long-time chef Andy Warden.  Each dish tastes like good old-fashioned home cooking and the portions are generous, by Tokyo standards. If you are lucky enough to show up on a day when they have homemade brownies you will praise the heavens for chocolate.  
The Pink Cow was also meant to be a community space for creative expression. If you go there you will find an eclectic mix of professional and amateur performances.  I love it.  It reminds me of my hometown.  There was a café on the corner of my street that had live music, poetry readings and a big variety of performing arts happening every night.  When I first moved to Tokyo that place was the thing I missed most until I found The Pink Cow. Just like the café in my old neighborhood, The Pink Cow has live bands, poetry, knitting circles, networking meetings, improv comedy, movie night, body painting and just about anything you could imagine.
Traci Consoli is the mastermind behind the Pink Cow.  She is a California native, a painter and sculptor.  The first day I met her she was wearing an outrageous outfit that consisted of a mini skirt, high boots, and a Russian style bear fur looking hat.  She told me she wanted the Pink Cow to be a place where people could freely exchange ideas, express themselves artistically, and encounter new people.
I admit, the Pink Cow isn’t for everyone.  Some people like a little less vaudeville and a lot more Grey Poupon. You won’t find fancy waiters in black and white uniforms moving about to answer your beck and call.  When you walk in the door you can seat yourself wherever you like.  You can even stand and eat if you want. Traci will tell you herself, “This is your home too.  Make yourself comfortable.” So, if you just want to disappear into the background and be served in ceremonious fashion then don’t go to the Pink Cow.
However, if you don’t feel like being alone, if you are new in town and want to make new friends, if you are looking for a regular hangout spot, if you are dying to have something that tastes like home cooking, if you enjoy laughing and hearing the sounds of celebration, if you enjoy the local scene, if you like meeting people from all over the world, and if you love having an experience that you can’t get anywhere else in the whole gigantic metropolis of Tokyo then the Pink Cow is for you.
The Pink Cow relocated from Shibuya to Roppongi.  The opening party is on September 1, 2012.  For more information, a monthly calendar, and a map visit the Pink Cow’s website.