Browns replaced by a restaurant called Revelations? A place called The Rickshaw becoming a hotspot? Large-scale outfits RBL, Rui Fu and nhu biting the dust? Good Chinese wine popping up in bars, restaurants and five-star hotels? They’re all part of Beijing’s 2007 nightlife story. A few highlights from that tale, as seen in this blog…
Now, *that’s* a topic for a blues song
Backed by Handel Lee (The Courtyard, Three on the Bund), featuring live Chicago blues bands in Icehouse, and lacking obvious signage on a street heavily visited by tourists, RBL sinks in Wangfujing and drags down more investors than you can count on your fingers. The venue is expected to resurface this year in Lee’s next project – The Legation. Perhaps, the best take on this is from a reader.
Dang, my tanktop is at the cleaners
My first pub crawl of 2007 is with Eddie O. We hit Cheers (Wild Turkey and live Xinjiang music), China Doll (people watching), Swing (great band but minimal toilet facilities; as Eddie says, “They want you to buy the beer here and process it somewhere else”) and Browns (featuring what seem to be bit players from The Dukes of Hazzard or Talladega Nights).
Then I craved sunflower seeds
Rather than allow a rude mobile phone-using jerk in The Bookworm raise my blood pressure, Beijing Boyce (v2007) uses the inane conversation to play a game.
And he even started to like sparkling wine
Frank Siegel holds his first weekly wine tasting of 2007 at Sequoia Café, with four wines and five cheeses from Canada. Over the next year, he will build the city’s best wine community as he covers vino from six continents, organizes vertical, varietal and blind tastings, brings in winemakers and winery owners, and patronizes a wide range of distributors.
See Say Cheese, Eh?
Buy 2, get 1… hey, wait a minute!
Reigning “bar of the year” Browns nears its first anniversary – bad specials, rotating personnel and unfinished décor suggest the place is on the decline and needs to get its act together. Six months later, the place is closed, with its contents gutted and the whereabouts of its managing partner a mystery.
Neither do references to “smoked meat”
Taking a page from danwei.org, I sex up the site to see if it generates traffic. I learn that deliberately including typos – i.e. changing Tim’s Texas BBQ to Tim’s Sex-Ass BBQ – doesn’t work.
If anyone needs some quality used underwear…
The newsletter that spun off this blog reaches its thirty-third edition and… 100,000 words. Book deal, reality TV show and newspaper column offers pour in, a flock of 88 doves continually circles my whereabouts, thousands of women throw their panties on stage, and global peace / a baby boom ensues. Or, I start working on the next 100,000 words. It was one of those two…
Please save the “leaded or unleaded” jokes
My mission for 2007: find seven decent Chinese wines that you can buy in Beijing for less than 700 kuai total. My first blind tasting: during Chinese New Year, with ten wines, seven tasters and a few clear winners. (Note: the best wine glass deal is at the Flower Market, where 22-ounce, thin-rimmed, Bordeaux-style Stone Island beauties are 10 kuai or less.)
All in the name of science
The Bourbon, Rye and Whisky League (BRAWL) meets at Tim’s Texas BBQ (now Sequoia Café) for a blind tasting of Kentucky Bourbon, Irish Whisky, Scotch and Canadian Rye. The Rye (Alberta Springs) edges the Irish Whisky (Bushmills) as favorite.
Hints of minerals, notes of worms
Campbell Thompson gets down to earth and provides wine advice for an Inner Mongolian woman who subsists solely on dirt. Think about “terroir”, says he.
Or perhaps it’s a sprouting potato?
My long-standing discussion with Eddie O as to whether the Jagermeister mascot is a moose or a reindeer continues into the New Year.