Pub grub plus: Bar Blu offers nightly buffet from rmb48

The top floor of Bar Blu has been a pleasant surprise this year with that extra deck, expanded beer menu, and live music lineup, led by New Zealand band Solidaz. I have stopped by a handful of times on weekends and always found it busy.

Now Bar Blu has started a nightly BBQ buffet that runs from 6 pm to 10 pm on weekdays and 6 pm to midnight on weekends, says manager Tait Dalrymple. The lineup includes everything from steaks, ribs and chicken to salad, baked potatoes and garlic bread. The price: rmb68. And for the time being, customers can get a rmb20 discount by asking for a voucher at the bar, reducing the price to rmb48. I plan to stop by and try  it out in the next week or so…

By the way, Bar Blu also has a happy hour, 5 pm to 8 pm, with Stella, Hoegaarden and cocktails at rmb30.

2011 Fourth of July in Beijing: Burger, beer and apple pies deals

Note: Home Plate is closed on July 4 and possibly for a few more days. If in doubt, call Home Plate at 5128-5584.

I posted earlier about Canada Day deals in Beijing and now it is time to go south of the largely unprotected border for some Fourth of July specials.

  • Texan Tim Hilbert of Tim’s Texas BBQ near the Silk Market is offering free apple pie to anyone buying a bucket of five beers — Budweiser or Coors Light — for rmb100 this Saturday, Sunday or Monday. Tim’s also has a beer and hot dog deal for rmb25.
  • Nevadan Kenny Lew of Eudora Station is planning three days of specials, starting on Friday. Each days includes a BBQ — with burgers, sausages and more — from 8 PM to midnight, with a rmb120 option for free-flow American wine and beer. The weekend will also feature house band Greg Carroll and Bump City.
  • New Yorkers Seth Grossman and Texan Adam Murry at Home Plate BBQ say they will be preparing plenty of food — pulled pork, brisket and more — and on July 3 will have a rmb10 Budweiser special.
  • Ohioan Carl Setzer of Great Leap Brewery literally had his shoulder to the grindstone to create his Independent Summer Ale. It will be available on Saturday and Sunday. (Note: Great Leap Brewery will be closed on July 4.)
  • And last but not least, more than 1000 people are expected to attend the Fourth of July party held by the American Chamber of Commerce at Legation Quarter on July 3. Expect big bands, a kids area and more. Tickets must be bought from the AmCham office by 5 PM Friday: no tickets will be sold at the door. For details, see here.

If I hear of any more events or specials, I’ll add them here…

Hey, Beijing hosers: Check out these three spots for Canada Day, eh?

Colourful chestfield, eh?

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Do you hail from The Great White North but live in The Middle Kingdom? Do you crave Moosehead, poutine and a replay of the 2010 Olympic gold medal hockey game? Then, despite this being a busy weekend what with the 90th anniversary of the CCP and the Moon Island and aircraft carrier parties (see here), you are in luck as a trio of Beijing bars and restaurants have some good deals to celebrate Canada Day.

So get off the chesterfield, put on your toque and check ‘em out. And as a warm-up, try my Canada quiz. (Note to the apple pie-eating Olympic silver medal-winning sweater monkeys who live directly south of Canada: I will soon have a post on July Fourth deals in Beijing.)

Trevor Metz (British Columbia) of Shuangjing bar and restaurant Grinders is cracking open the C.C. from noon on Friday (July 1) until the moose come home or closing time, whichever is first. He’ll have rmb60 pitchers of Canadian Club and Canada Dry ginger ale, rmb15 bottles of Moosehead, and, if all goes well, Bloody Caesars. (He is planning some poutine action, though purists beware, I’m not sure if he has cheese curds.) And he has a pile of hockey sticks in case people want to play pickup out front – or make giant chuanr.

Arthur Hagopian (Ontario) of Gulou area bar The Box, known to some as “the Canadian bar” given its use of the flag, moose images, and souvenirs, is getting into the spirit on Saturday (July 2). From 2 pm to 6 pm, The Box will have free local draft and snacks – look for poutine again – as well as Mill Street beers Tank House and Stock Ale from Toronto at half-price. If you dress like a famous Canadian – think Bob and Doug, Red Green, Justin Bieber, Celine Dion or, if you can pull it off, Bieber and Dion at the same time – you get in a draw for a bottle of Crown Royal. And Hagopian plans to show the 2010 Olympic gold medal game between Canada and the United States in which Robert Luongo made us all poop our pants before we eventually won.

Billy Kawaja (Newfoundland) of 798 restaurant, bar and lemonade stand Switch is celebrating the ultimate Canadian food and beverage pairing – doughnuts and beer. (Just typing that sentence makes me hungry for Timbits.) Anyone who orders a bucket of five Moosehead – a deal at rmb100 – gets a six-pack of jelly doughnuts. Freeze that extra donut and use it as a puck, a very thick coaster, or whatever. The special at Switch runs Saturday and Sunday.

If I find any more deals, and I’m hoping for one or two more, I’ll add them here…

Hop stuff: Great Leap to open brewery at Great Wall

Miracle of miracles, I found Great Leap Brewery before happy hour ended tonight, which meant a pull of Pale Ale No 6 for rmb20. Much bigger news is that this operation has been growing by, ahem, leaps and bounds and will soon open another branch, this one by the Great Wall. Headed by Carl Setzer and partner Dane VandenBerg, who arrived in Beijing a mere three weeks ago, the new operation will primarily function as a brewery and thus increase the capacity of the Great Leap Brewery Dynasty. The original operation has quickly attracted a strong following and brought kudos to Setzer, who makes the beers from scratch and at times includes ingredients from China, including tea and Sichuan peppercorns.

Alas: Gulou cafe / gallery Aluss to close tonight

Gulou area cafe and gallery Aluss, a spin-off of nearby bar Amilal, will close as of tonight. Aluss opened earlier this year and has been gathering steam as an event space but the owner has decided to pack it in and seek a new venue. There were still a few beers this left this afternoon in case anyone wants to drop by for a final drink. The movers are slated to pick up the furniture tomorrow. More on Aluss here.