Dragon Fruit, Rickshaws and Wine

The all-male crowd seems to have abandoned Q Bar as its Thursday night watering hole. The place was lightly populated tonight (last night), which meant peace and quiet as I sipped my Horse Neck (Bourbon, ginger ale and lemon) and chatted with bartenders-owners George and Echo. The Q will add frozen dragon fruit margaritas to the menu tomorrow night (tonight), a drink Echo and I first made during my only foray behind the bar in Beijing, at a birthday party last year. They’ll go for 55 kuai.

I walked to Q from The Rickshaw, which opens tomorrow night (tonight). Patrons of the spot’s former bar, Midnight, are in for a surprise – co-owner Kris Ryan has stripped the place down, to the cement floor at some points, and replaced the unbearable heaviness of the sofas with light furniture and open space. With a pool table, several flat-panel TVs and a balcony that offers views up and down Sanlitun South, the place has a new vibe – an unpretentious spot that fits the BJ psyche.

In the pigeonhole game, The Rickshaw hints at The Den, The Goose and Duck, and, of course, COX and Saddle (same owners), with a splash of old Sanlitun South, though it quickly enough it’ll find its own identity. Qingdao draft is 15 kuai a pint (10 kuai during happy hour) and the kitchen will open soon, if not tomorrow night. Patrons now have a new spot to get COX-style wings and Saddle-style burritos, as well as mini pizzas, while avoiding Sanlitun North’s roving gangs of teenagers, beggars and substance sellers. That alone is reason enough for me to go; we’ll see if others feel the same. (For more on The Rickshaw, check out this interview of Kris.)

I dropped into The Rickshaw on my way home from Torres China’s tenth-anniversary celebration at the Ritz Carlton. The party was from 6 to 10 PM, and I managed to squeeze in at 9:52 PM – yep, it’s been one of those work weeks. That left enough time to chat with Torres North China GM Galia Stern (among the first people I met when I arrived in Beijing way back when), have a glass of wine, and meet Miguel Torres, who ranks among the world’s bigwigs of wine. Congratulations to Torres and good luck on the company’s anniversary party in Shanghai this weekend.

4 thoughts on “Dragon Fruit, Rickshaws and Wine”

  1. YX,

    I can’t speak for everyone, but my guess is 4.2 – might help to slip a lychee martini in there to mix things up. Or an Alphonso’s Special…

    Cheers, BB

  2. i just have to say (in a completely non-creepy way), after reading so many of your reviews (research for my own job), i am eagerly anticipating running into you at some joint or another during my stay here.

  3. k,

    no worries, it’s only slightly, not completely, creepy.

    seriously, some people seem quite disappointed when they meet me. i guess they expect a james bond type who zips about town in a burgundy cashmere smoking jacket trying exotic cocktails and amusing the ladies when in reality i’m more of a cross between john cusack and winnie the pooh (with a bit of brad pitt thrown in, some might say – if they’d had enough to drink, that is). as long as you’re not one of *those* people, and as long as by “run into” you don’t envision yourself behind the wheel of a car, then, yes, it would be interesting…

    Cheers, BB

Comments are closed.