Packed to the max last Saturday, the new and more upscale Nanjie had one of the more successful bar openings of the year. Located in the former Modern Nomads space, and across from Caribe and Banana Leaf, one word best describes the place: functional.
- The first floor, with a long bar at the back, saw dancers flank-to-shank and sweaty as they grooved to eighties tunes.
- Also full was the second floor, with a combo of lounges and long tables that make it easy to befriend neighbors; it’s a space quiet enough to talk.
- Even more sedate is the balcony at the front and side, packed with people seated at small tables or standing against the rail and watching life go by below.
- Throw in a busy patio and about 70 to 100 people out front, and the place is off to a running start.
A few other observations:
- Draft beer, including Stella and Hoegaarden, went two-for-one.
- While bottles of Scotch or Champagne might chill in buckets at other clubs, the table next us had a bottle of Smirnoff with cans of Red Bull as mixer.
- I didn’t try the food, but it looked tasty enough, and I hear good things about the pizza.
- The service was above-average, which will also help maintain momentum.
I spent an enjoyable hour on the balcony with Billy K watching as trays of Stella passed by, as groups of people gathered out front of the bar, and as the usual poor driving skills created unneeded traffic jams in the street out front. Oh, and as the occasional expatriate passed by in a sidecar that need some work on the muffler (look at me! I’m in a sidebar! Vroom, vroom!).
All in all, two thumbs up for the launch party.