Whenever I go for a post-work drink with the Canadian guys from China Radio International, the likelihood of a late night is high (are they all issued with an extra liver?). Add Mr Brau to the mix and it is guaranteed. Places visited Friday night…
Purple Haze (Workers Stadium North): I stopped here with DJ Chunky, P-Jimmy, and his friend that I will simply call The Swede on Speed. Beijing draft is RMB15 and appears within a minute or two of ordering. Even better, the staff asks if you want a new beer about three sips before you finish your current one. The good atmosphere and service explains at least in part why every table was taken.
Danger Doyle’s: Lads outnumbered lasses more than two to one on this place’s inaugural ladies night, prompting a friend to declare it a “sausage fest” (the main floor was somewhat busy, with a few people upstairs and the deck empty due to weather). On top of this, the staff struggled: An employee took our order, another approached a few minutes later to confirm it, someone brought our change a few minutes after that, and finally, after another five mnutes, a waittress delivered our drinks (unfortunately the service led one patron to go over-the-top in chastising the staff). Possibly the worst ladies night I have attended this past year, though it has potential if DD’s can a) attract more ladies, who booze free from 8 to 11:30 PM, and b) provide better service for the gents paying for drinks.
(Note: As I walked home Saturday night, I returned to DD’s and was happily surprised to find the NBA playoffs on. That beer fridge, stocked with more than 70 different kinds of brew, looked very enticing.)
Super Bar Street: I arrived with Mr Brau and KZ after midnight to find most establishments closed and very few people in the area, making the place seem even bleaker than usual ahead of its slated destruction. We stopped at Shamba, which had one table of patrons, an unfortunate situation given the place has an attractive decor (black and burgundy laquered tables, comfortable bar stools, etc) and layout (seating inside arranged for intimacy, a deck out back that faces a pond and its croaking frogs, etc), and Tim’s Texas BBQ, which had about a half-dozen patrons.
Club Juicy Spot: With the second floor closed (ongoing renovations?), we headed upstairs to find a light crowd of about 20 people. I like the earthy atmosphere, the airiness, and the high sloped ceiling, but this place needs to find a niche (a new option for the salsa crowd?)
Black Sun Bar: A good turnout at this Chaoyang Park old-timer, with groups of four to eight people parked around tables and chatting, drinking, and having fun. If I lived closer to Black Sun, I would make it one of my regular chill-out spots.
TUN: As usual on Friday, insanely busy during ladies night, with a door charge (huh?) even at 3 AM. The crowd tends to get younger as the night wears on, which makes me tend to feel more and more like a chaperone (hmm, do I know the parents of anyone here?). By the way, here is a list of five songs played in order:
- Grease Lightning
- Rock Around the Clock – Bill Haley
- Wouldn’t It Be Nice? – The Beach Boys
- Queen (forgot which song)
- Let’s Get It Started – Black Eyed Peas
This sounds like the lineup you might get from pressing “random” on an iPod. That people danced to it says less about their musical taste and more about their blood-alcohol levels, which makes them willing to get down to anything, be it – I am guessing – Yanni remixes, CDs of mating whale sounds, or a 40-minute version of Tub Thumbing.
Nanjie: Upstairs full, downstairs half-full, quick service, cheap drinks, eclectic crowd… in other words, the Nanjie I have come to know and tolerate.