Before I get to the now very public fight between Kokomo and China Doll in Sanlitun’s Tongli Studio, some notes from a walkabout I took at 7:30 last night.
Walking the gauntlet of neon-laden bars on the main strip, I heard three “lady bar” offers, far from my record of 13, though to be fair, it was early.
Security guards still line the fence in front of that huge empty building in back of the bars. A long, ongoing dispute between building management and construction workers continues, and the workers have a poster-plastered van parked in front to repine*.
In the new Nali Studio, Saddle Cantina is almost ready to go for this Thursday’s launch. Next door, the new Muse looks close to being finished.
Meanwhile, the lights were out in the new Project H2O and in the new China Doll, though I did see work being done on the latter last Friday. Speaking of unfinished projects, what’s happening with that boutique hotel in the Sanlitun project? Is it going to open by the Olympics?
And here’s another question: Le Freak! by Party la in the Thai Empress Restaurant. Anyone been there?
Around the corner, The Tree, Smugglers, Kai Club, Butterfly, Shooters and Fish Nation are all in their proper spots, while in Tongli, Le Bistrot Parisien had a decent crowd. I ate there last week and had a good steak.
And then there’s Kokomo and China Doll.
Following reports that China Doll security recently beat a customer and prevented patrons from going to Kokomo upstairs, a message from Facebook group China Doll Club Heads states that a water leak from Kokomo damaged China Doll’s lighting console, that Kokomo has been “remiss in fixing the damage” and has threatened China Doll, and that security was added to protect China Doll staff and “pressure Kokomo to repair the console…” Re the beating, it stated security was attacked first.
“We have been left with no other option as we are not the first club in Tongli to have been threatened by Kokomo and refuse to be ‘bullied’,” it states.
Kokomo responded, also via Facebook, that Kokomo did leak water into China Doll and agreed to fix the lighting panel but was told by “an authorized repair center” that the damage could not have been caused by the leak. It adds that China Doll security has stopped people from entering Kokomo, but the police have been unable to stop this due to a lack of evidence.
Kokomo owners have been “pushed around by China Doll’s security force” and the situation culminated “Friday night with the unfortunate beatings of customers wanting to go to Kokomo,” says the statement.
The Kokomo statement also refers to this video that purportedly shows China Doll security forces blocking customers from going upstairs.
Frankly, the last thing any bar should do is bully customers. China Doll says it isn’t doing this, Kokomo and several readers tell me it is. I’ll leave it up to readers to decipher the video.
Kokomo’s statement notes, “If this is a case of their feeling we owe them money, why not file a civil claims case and pursue the issue through peaceful, legal means.”
Exactly. Solve this privately. Don’t impact customers and don’t bring undue negative attention to Tongli at a time when the authorities are hypersensitive.
For more details on the situation, see this thread on The Beijinger.
* This word is brought you by Special K.