Maovember 2014 Beijing: Use Your ‘Stache for Cash!

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Last year’s inaugural maovember campaign raised over rmb20,000 for The Library Project and resulted in books, shelves, tables, chairs and other equipment for a migrant children’s school on the edge of Beijing.

This year, maovember returns to support another cause that will show our donors direct results: Orbis, an organization focused on preventing and treating blindness in China. The specific goal is to finance a minimum of 25 cataract surgeries, at rmb800 each, for poor people and thus allow them to return to work and get above the poverty line.

About a dozen bars, restaurants and vendors are on board for the cause, with the opening event slated for The Corner Melt starting at 6 PM on Sunday. There will be Knob Creek shots with PBR chasers for rmb30, plus Brass Monkeys and Nerf sports competitions, with all proceeds from those three activities going to charity.

You can also pick up a maovember 2014 pin for 50 yuan: This year, some of our venue sponsors will provide a deal all month to anyone wearing a pin during November.

Get details on Sunday’s event, pin sales, discounts and more at the dedicated website maovember.com. I’ll post occasionally about maovember here on this blog but most of the coverage will be at the dedicated site.  If you have any questions, let me know or send an email to nihao (at) maovember.com. Thanks to all those who supported maovember last year and have already done so this year!

Bagels and cupcakes: Tavalin and Lollipop teaming up in Beijing

Look for bagel specialists Tavalin to make a big move tomorrow. It will be business as usual at the shop, but the kitchen equipment will be packed and carried away as Tavalin partners with cupcake experts Lollipop on facilities.

“We’ve decided to team up with Lexie [Morris] from Lollipop Bakery. She’s got a bakery that’s bigger than she needs, so do we, and we’re basically combining forces with her and her bakery,” says Julian Tavalin. “She’s also going to start selling stuff in our shop.”

(I took Morris shouting “hi” in the background during the call as confirmation of this business deal.)

Tavalin Bagels also works closely with Andy’s Craft Sausage and that eventually led to the sausage-bagel (see below). What will this new partnership bring? The bagollipop? Frankly, I’d be happy with some quality doughnuts!

sausage bagel roll tavalin andy's craft beijing china

2014 World Series: Catch game seven at Irish Volunteer

Catch game seven of the World Series at The Irish Volunteer tomorrow morning. Tsing-tao, coffee and Budweiser are all rmb7 each and their will be pizza slices during the seventh-inning stretch. Game time is 8 AM.

Rick Dell of Major League Baseball will also be there, with some swag, to see the Kansas City Royals flush the San Francisco Giants. (Pundits are characterizing this showdown as “pulled pork vs rice-a-roni”, with most giving the carnivores the edge.)

I wonder whether George Brett or Lourdes will throw out the first pitch…

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Herd the news? Udder-ly awesome Cows Creamery moo-ving to Beijing

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Maybe you already herd, but those regularly in the moo-d for cheese, butter and ice cream will be udder-ly thrilled that Cows Creamery will open as soon as Friday near Workers Stadium (see map below).

Along with all things milk, Canada-based Cows Creamery will sell coffee (I assume de-calf-einated is an option), chocolate (bean waiting for some good stuff) and — the most famous food product of the company’s home province of Prince Edward Islandpotatoes (Bud the Spud!). In fact, Frank Zhou, whose is handling Asia expansion for the company, says there will even be chocolate-covered potato chips.

I hope to have more details soon!

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Sips & bites: Ocean Grounds opens near Gongti, plus XL, Heaven, Pak Pak & more

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Coffee fanatics will be happy to know Ocean Grounds opened today in the Hi Long Building at the corner of Xindong Road and Workers Stadium North. The ground floor venue is at the building’s north end and will serve as a cafe from 8:30 AM to 6 PM before transitioning to a bar until 1 AM. There will be four permanent coffee-themed cocktails on the menu as well as seasonal specialties, classic drinks and more, says Jim Lee. Look for the food menu to include offerings by Tavalin Bagels and Andy’s Craft Sausages.

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XL, a new bar by a team that includes Jane Cui of Nearby the Tree fame, is now open in the building due north of Heaven Supermarket. (You will find it on the ground floor in the corridor between that building and the one behind it.) The design is a work in progress at this airy venue that includes bar and table seating and an open kitchen. Expect mixed drinks from rmb35, wine from rmb40, including a decent Malbec, and numerous beer options. In terms of food, Cui says the guys behind the Temple burger gave her advice on the patties and she is also serving Andy’s Craft Sausages.

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Speaking of Heaven Supermarket, check out the fancy new facade that has been added as this beer haven expands to absorb most of the former James Joyce space.

Amy Li and Jonathan Ansfield, best known in dining circles for Vietnamese restaurant Susu, plan to open a sibling to their Thai joint Pak Pak in the Daimler Building. The new restaurant will take over the former car showroom in The Office Park. Li and Ansfield just returned from a week of taste-testing in Thailand so perhaps we’ll find some new items on the menu.

Also of note:

  • Signs for a Blue Frog have been up for some time in The Office Park.
  • Union Bar & Grille has reopened in Sanlitun Village South.
  • Pudao Wines has the spotlight on rose this month, including labels from France, Spain, Italy and Lebanon.

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A Somewhat Steady China Hand on the Local Bar Scene