Walkabout wrap-up: Maxim’s, Bling, Union, LPG, ex-Cross Club, and more

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Bling (map): I didn’t make it for the Playboy dancers – I find the stage versions are never as good as the books, uh, I mean, magazines. But an SMS from a fellow bar-goer stated that the dance floor was full of “Russians boogying to ‘Beautiful Girl.’ It’s like Bling and Chocolate have swapped intended clientele”, while another stated that the dancers are “really quite nice. And they claim to have made their wacky go-go costumes themselves.” Since I make my own Speedos, I guess I missed a chance to meet some soul mates…

Le Petit Gourmand (map): Given this place has finally uploaded some new music, and hopefully discarded that CD with a dozen versions of “My Way“, I have renewed hope for world peace, for an end to global warming, and for public relations to send out bar announcements sans smiley faces and multiple exclamation marks. By the way, LPG’s sandwiches, including the club pictured above (RMB44), are tasty, good value, and come with fries and salad.

Union Bar & Grille (map): Despite plans each weekend “to boldy go where no man has gone before”*, I find myself at Union at least once for brunch. The food is consistently good, whether in terms of the basic breakfast, the eggs benedict, or the omelets. And at RMB45-RMB55 per plate, with RMB20 for bottomless coffee, I find it among the best-value brunches in town. Now, if they would only work on the service. (* Star Trek is being released in Beijing this weekend and I had to get in at least one reference. Now, which bar is going to take advantage of this momentous event and come up with a Tribble burger?)

Danger Doyle’s (map): Love the Monday free pizza deal (management says it gave out 85 pies last night), like the beer selection and the rooftop, and I might someday enjoy the ladies night if there were more females there than at Destinations on a given night (true, I arrived with DJ Chunky around 1 AM, but still…). DD’s also has the NBA channel which means people can catch basketball games that air after 10 AM (that’s when the place opens).

Note: I have also caught NBA games at The Goose and Duck (open 24 hours, though the slingbox feed for the last game was choppy), The Rickshaw (which has the NBA channel and is open early mornings), and The Den (which airs the games shown on CCTV and Bensports, though the latter service is unfortunately down at the moment).

Maxim’s Solana (map): I went to the launch of online vino retailer mywineshop on Sunday. The cool weather made that new hedged-in patio an enjoyable place to try a half-dozen wines and mow down a heap of appetizers – the locally produced foie gras was particularly good.

The Den (map): Same old, same old. By the way, I am not a big fan of interventions, but if anyone sees me going solo on The Den deep-fried combo again, please get out the tranquilizer gun.

ex-Cross Club (map): This spot is on the verge of reopening and I hope the decor inside is a few steps above the rainbow colored lights outside. People tell me the guys behind Cappuccino, the currently gutted bar that is on the northernmost  corner of Sanlitun Bar Street and best known for oudoor lights that emulate the LED equalizer lights on a stero, are involved. Can anyone confirm this?

The Irish Volunteer (map): See here.