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We’re still at the Dragon’s Den. Inside now.

At the back, it is a sushi bar, and crowded. A gang of staffers from a nearby Hyatt has come to celebrate a –birthday?

They’re sure having a good time. Mr. Makoto, who has been making sushi 25 years is moving swiftly but deftly. Tradition, unchanging.

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Mr. Makoto

But further forward, in the main saloon, the bar tradition’s being smashed.

I spot this tall table with two taps in the middle.

Draft beer taps.

“These are a first for San Diego,” says Michael Lou, who runs the place. “Self-service draft beer tables. You give the barman your credit card, and then pay at the end. The beer taps feed keg beer, you pour your own beer, and you pay by decimals. Exactly how much you drank. Like prepaying at a gas station.”

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Michael Lou holds an imaginary glass ready for filling

Wow. This is definitely new.

“It’s great for the customers, because they don’t have to go up to the bar every time for a refill. And it’s great for if you want to like, impress someone in the crowd going by, you can offer them a beer right there, from your ‘private stock.’ And for us, it means faster service. The customer is in control.”

Okay, maybe not always.

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We’re standing by this table where the people have just downed 50.32 pints of Kirin beer. The little counter on the tap tells us so.

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Hope it wasn’t just one guy.

Michael says he saw this being demonstrated in Las Vegas.

And where did the machines come from?

Guess I shouldn’t have asked.

“Ireland,” he says.

The one thing I can’t see them pouring this way is Guinness.

Don’t you need a master’s degree to be able to pour that stuff right?

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