Note: This is the first post on this blog to include pop-up maps (click the word “map” listed beside each place) and the ability to forward bar addresses to your mobile phone (see here for details).
In the latest installment of the Top Five Watering Holes series, Andrew Schorr and Ellis Rahhal of Mobile Native give their top picks for drinks in the city, including a convenience store, a pizza joint, and a Bar That Shall Not Be Named.
The Wudaokou 7-ELEVEN (map)
Ellis: Amazing people-watching. There’s always dozens of people hovering inside and outside regardless of season because of the proximity to the dance club Propaganda. Students from every corner of the world, lurkers, beggars, can collectors, chuanr stand workers, police, and locals from all over the city stand out front either taking a breather from mad hip hop exercise or spending most of the evening drinking relatively cheap foreign beers purchased in the store. There’s always a story developing here. Best hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 11 PM to 4 AM.
Andrew: The cocktail menu is an interesting read – he’s really doing some creative things with his alcohol. Look behind the bar and you’ll catch various herbs steeping in alcohol bottles like a project for the adult science fair. The place is rarely busy which means the nice pool table and big screen TV are usually up for the taking. The complimentary bar snacks and the Vietnamese / Taiwanese menu are also unique. I miss the original entrance,: an unmarked steel door down the alley on the side of the building. It had much more character than walking through the store in front of the bar.
B _ _ _ _ _ s
Ellis: I won’t reveal the name of this place because it’s small and no one knows about it, and I don’t want to ruin it. Anyway it’s a Japanese-run bar on the 12th floor of an office building, and the front door has no obvious signage. It’s black and loungey with a great view and consistently made designer cocktails.
Andrew: Ellis told me, but I swore I would keep it a secret. But I’ll give you a hint: the office building is in Haidian and the name of the bar rhymes with klarphlips.
Andrew: Something magical happens when pizza and beer get together. Kro’s has always had some of the best deals in town on great imported beers, including Thirsty Thursday buckets of five beers for 80 RMB. While this deal has not been offered lately, it will hopefully return once a new batch of beer arrives. This place is also getting some great Australian beers: Crown, Redback, VB, and Boags. Those and the Brooklyn beers are all 30RMB normally, and I was told recently they have a new joint China-Oz beer called Lucky coming in soon for 20RMB/bottle.
Ellis: I seem to come to this place with a different group of people every time. The warm reddish and brown tones and intimate seating along with good music at a reasonable volume always lead to interesting conversations. The wooden loft gives the setting a more immediate feel, and people are often dancing downstairs in front of the bar.