Live blogging: The Super Bar Street countdown…

10:45 Well, so much for the open 24 hours deal. Tim’s Texas Roadhouse closing up for the night in 20 minutes. With that, I’m riding off…

10:20 The Village Grouch suggests that any patron arriving by horse at Tim’s Texas Roadhouse tomorrow should receive a free cool refreshing beverage. Tim?

10:02 Tim’s Texas Roadhouse is rocking now. Quick 400 percent increase in patrons. Now up to four. Woo-hoo! Enjoying an ice-cold Brooklyn Lager

9:42 Here is a first: A Beijing bar playing Friends of Mr Cairo. Woah…

Frankie: Okay, this is the picture. Johnny’s been hurt. He’s been hurt bad.

Woman: Look, we can’t leave him here, we can’t. Look, he’s in a pool of blood. He’s gonna die, I know it.

Frankie: We’ve gotta leave him here, honey. We gotta. He won’t talk, I promise you that! Will you Johnny?

Woman: Frankie, I don’t care whether he talks or not, I just can’t leave him like this.

Johnny: Listen. Leave me here I… I… I can … I can … handle it.

Woman: Oh, no, Johnny, no…

9:33 Again, what would Patrick Swayze do?

9:29 Observing how difficult it is to wrap a pair of antlers. Bubble wrappin’ ain’t easy…

9:27 It sounds like some places, including Tim’s Texas Roadhouse, aim to be open tomorrow. The stage equipment, and much of the decor is packed up, but there will still be bottled beer, spirits, and food. Plus, the place has that diesel generator.

9:22 Some places are totally emptied of furniture et al, others seem not to have started, and still others are somewhere in-between. Busiest spot on the street: New Get Lucky, which has a band on stage now. Most of the Japanese joints are open as are about a half-dozen other places.

9:20 Just talked to the Bite-a-pitta guys. Said today they were told they could stay open one or two weeks longer – how is that for ambiguity. Apparently, there are several landlords for Super Bar Street, including one that has everything from New Get Lucky southward.

8:23 Back soon. Going on a Super Bar Street walk with Texas Tim.

8:17 Stage equipment packed up…

7:51 Uh oh, Loud Guy with Man Bag just arrived in Tim’s Texas Roadhouse. That’s never a good sign. (Plus, this guy needs a lesson in matching accessories and footwear. His bag, like, totally clashes with his shoes.)

7:48 EL left a comment for me on Facebook that says: “today the people at bite a pita said [the power will be cut at] at 10pm“. Yikes, two more hours of VB! The horror!

7:44 Better yet, what would Ida Lapino do?

7:39 What would Patrick Swayze do?

7:33 Holding steady at two customers at Tim’s. PA left, but The Man With the Best Beard in Beijing is now here. I think I am coming out of the shock that I won’t be watching a Nuggets-Cavaliers final this year…

7:13 Police truck now outside with a HUGE German shepherd in the back (the dog freaked out a group of workers who were passing by). Camouflage “security guys” still around…

6:57 Just finished a Mexican burger – fresh bun and tender, spiced meat. By the way, some of those creepy guys in the camouflage outfits are still wandering around outside.

6:30 Listening to Johnny Cash’s “Man in Black” at Tim’s Texas Roadhouse.

Well, there’s things that never will be right I know, And things need changin’ everywhere you go, But ’til we start to make a move to make a few things right, You’ll never see me wear a suit of white.

6:25 Things that would make the end of Tim’s better: The movie Roadhouse on the remaining TVs, a guy riding off into the sunset, a tumbleweed going down the street (credit: PA), and complimentary beers. Oh, wait, we – the only customers now – just received two free VBs.

6:22 Looks like the 6 PM threat was a bluff, so midnight is now the likely scenario. In any case, Tim’s guys are working on getting the diesel generator hooked up and he says the place will open tomorrow. Plenty of bottled beer in storage…

6:10 Listening to the gentle hum of the Tim’s Texas Roadhouse diesel generator aka Plan B (nice call, lomaksu).

6:08 An eerie quiet has descended upon the street. Trash blows aimlessly about. Store fronts are defaced with graffiti. A Detroit experience in Beijing!

5:58 Two minutes to go and, what is that sound, some kind of engine out on Tim’s deck. Could it be…

5:52 The cymbals are packed up, the drum kit is being dismantled, the end is nigh! Meanwhile, we’re arguing about “top five burgers” in Beijing. “For affordable burger, he’s probably got the best, and that’s because of the sour dough bun that he uses. It holds up,” says one patron. You heard it here, Tim has great buns.

5:49 The last pack of cigarettes at Tim’s – Marlboro reds – has been purchased. Eleven minutes to go…

5:44 Sixteen minutes to the slated shutdown of power at Tim’s Texas Roadhouse? Will patrons be forced to play darts in the dark and thus make the saying “it’s always fun until someone loses an eye” reality? Will the beer fridge shudder to a halt and thus force us to drink warm VB? Or will Tim somehow save the day?

5:37 Browser has crashed half a dozen times as I have tried to upload photos of Super Bar Street, including the final pack up, the camouflage “security” brigade, and Majesty Parlor: Afro Hair Salon and Barber Shop, which specializes in corn rows, dreads, and more (I hadn’t noticed it before).

5:34 Last supper at Tim’s? Two hamburgers and fries just passed by. We’re up to six patrons here.

5:16 Restaurant, bar, and shop owners off for a meeting with the management office. We’re sitting here drinking VB and listening to Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard. And some guy is keeping terrible beat with a sledgehammer out front.

5:05 The world of World of Warcraft goes on. Players continue on the road to carpal tunnel syndrome at The Internet Bar on Super Bar Street.

4:40 The official deadline for the power cut here is 6 PM. Whether that happens on not, who knows. But Tim has already taken out many of the “valuables” (TVs, etc).

4:25 Now in Tim’s Texas Roadhouse with PA and two other patrons. The Aussie beers are RMB20.

4:23 Walked down Super Bar Street with Eight Songs. A dozen “security guards“, who look like they would be better off in high school, are patrolling the street in a group. People are packing up, trash is scattered everywhere, and the place – as incredible as it may sound – looks even more desolate than usual.

The Segall has landed: Ex-Louisiana Chef Dan back to Beijing for one week

Chef Dan during Louisiana days


Well, almost.

Dan Segall, who worked at the Beijing Hilton for the former Louisiana restaurant (one of the city’s best at the time), later headed the kitchen at RBL in Wangfujing, and then did a stint in Hong Kong before landing in Shanghai, will be back in town next week. (Segall was also among the early supporters of the bars newsletter that preceded this blog.)

He will be at the Hilton and whip up some Asian cuisine, along with a few dishes from Louisiana, in One East on Third, and that means everything from putting together menus for wine dinners to teaching cooking classes. Here is the lineup:

Friday, June 5
Boogie with Chef Dan: “Jazz night” and a six-course “tasting menu” (RMB400)

Sunday, June 7
Cook with Chef Dan: Kitchen class, 20 spots available (RMB300)

Tuesday, June 9
Multitask with Chef Dan: “Interactive cooking day”, 8 spaces available (RMB500)

Wine and dine Chef Dan: Four-course meal paired with American wines (RMB600)

Wednesday, June 10
Fuse with Chef Dan: Kitchen class, with a focus on Asian dishes, 20 spaces available (RMB300)

Thursday, June 11
Sip and bite with Chef Dan: Hilton Wine Club, with canapés by Segall (RMB150)

Friday, June 12
Bye bye with Chef Dan: Five-course menu matched with American wines (RMB600 or RMB 800 <- I am not sure from the invite what the difference in prices means)

Motor City vs Steel Town: Detroit-Pittsburgh NHL showdown at The Irish Volunteer

The Irish Volunteer (map) became the unofficial hockey home for a good swath of the city’s Vancouver Canucks* fans  as well as a few Chicago Black Hawks and Washington Capitals followers during this year’s NHL playoffs. Unfortunately for them, all three teams have been knocked out, and we know have a Steel Town-Motor City showdown, with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings facing off in the Stanley Cup finals. You can catch the first game on  Sunday at 8 AM at The Irish Volunteer – the usual breakfast deals apply. Note: The Goose and Duck (map) is also showing the games, though the slingbox feed can get choppy at times.

* Given that next year marks four decades since the Canucks started and the team has yet to win a cup, I will now refer to them as the Vancouver 40-year-old Virgins.

See also:
Service in Beijing: A horde of hockey fans versus The Irish Volunteer

NHL playoffs in Beijing: Canucks versus Black Hawks at The Irish Volunteer
NHL Playoffs: Catch Canucks games at The Irish Volunteer

Super Bar Street countdown: A night at Tim’s Texas Roadhouse


I headed to Super Bar Street last night, days before the area is slated to shut down, to hang out at Tim’s Texas Roadhouse (map) and a) have a few American micro-brews (bucket of four for RMB100) and pints of Tsingtao (RMB10), b) watch The Big Lebowski, and c) tape my weekly interview with Peter “Sneaky Pete” Koveos of China Radio International.

The place had a solid crowd on hand and many stuck around to watch the two-piece band, play darts and pool, and take advantage of the drink specials. Good times, though I would advise the two women who sang Killing Me Softly to keep their day jobs and be advised that, if there is a second performance, I may ask the police to issue a restraining order to keep them from within 100 meters of a live microphone. (Kidding. Kind of….)

Tim’s will be open 24 hours per day until the expected power cut on Sunday at 6 PM. Tim’s Texas Bar-B-Q (map), near the silk market, will be business as usual.

Weekend ahead: 2 Kolegas, Super Bar Street, Romeo and Juliet, and more

Some stuff to do when not paddling a dragon boat or eating glutinous rice this weekend…

2 Kolegas (map) celebrates its fourth anniversary with a handful of bands playing on Saturday, including Black Cat Bone and Subs. Chill on the lawn and have a few pints, with music from 10 PM. (RMB50 entry fee; RMB40 for students)

As mentioned earlier, Jimmy’s Thai Kitchen and Lounge (map) will serve as a venue for jazz, blues, funk, and more, with Girassol kicking things off at 10 PM on Saturday.  (RMB30, includes cover)

Beijing Playhouse will perform Romeo and Juliet on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon at Block 8 (map). The invite states that this is a funnier and shorter version. (RMB300; RMB 260 in advance; contact 13718-908-922 or for tickets).

Woodie Allen is wrapping up a series of performances on Saturday to mark the band’s new album. The music starts at 8 PM at Frank’s Place (map).

The countdown is on at Super Bar Street as it appears the end will come on Sunday. Last chance to visit Biteapitta, Afro Arena, New Get Lucky, Tim’s Texas Roadhouse, and other venues as well as to saunter down one of the most depressing streets in the city (though I think I spotted a blade of grass there the last time I visited).