I decided to “party hearty” on Saturday night ahead of the supposed “no-fun Olympics.” I went to the max and ate outdoors, hung out on a rooftop, listened to a live band, and drank in a bar with black people. I have to admit, I’m no rebel – I saw hundreds of people doing the same. Here’s a lowdown of things seen, heard, and consumed with fellow beverage researcher The Village Grouch:
Hotel G: We planned to have a drink and a burger at this Workers Stadium West venue, but it turns out none of the food and beverage outlets are open. Gee.
Destinations: No-fun alert – signs in the club proclaim that flip flops are banned as of August 1. How gay is that?*
Sam’s: Just north of Destinations, it has the equivalent of a mini-Jenny Lou’s downstairs and a 20-seat wine bar upstairs. Patrons can choose from more than 100 wines from six distributors. The bottles are displayed in racks and start at less than RMB100. Buy some food downstairs, buy some bottles upstairs, and you have a tasting party – it’s on my list of things to do.
Red Rose: A light crowd for a Saturday night. We work through several plates of lamb and enjoy the live band.
Tongli Studio area: After a post-dinner walk through The Village, we find most places in the Tongli area busy. The street fronting Kai Club and Butterfly is already picking up and even Ciro’s has a good-sized crowd.
The Saddle Cantina: The deck is packed, the interior is moderately populated, and Margaritas are calling. I spot DJ Blackie who tells me something about having to play ABBA records. Frankly, I shut down after he says “Mama Mia.”
Kokomo: Yesterday, I noted my shock at finding The Smugglers full. Today’s surprise (besides Ciro’s): more than two dozen patrons on the normally empty main floor of Kokomo. I soon understand why: the deck is crammed with sticky patrons. TVG and I down two original Maitais apiece, sweat five pounds, and head off.
Sanlitun North strip: As we taxi past the copycat bars on the Sanlitun North strip, we notice most places have outdoor seating, good crowds, and entertainment that ranges from live bands to a dancing woman in a silver bikini and a cowboy hat.
Q Bar: This place is hopping, although unlike Saturday night, I can make my way to the bar. A couple of Alfonso Specials nicely finishes the night.
* This isn’t meant to be offensive – I know how sensitive flip-flop wearers can be. By the way, where do Crocs rank?
See also: Weekend Wrap 1