That Shuangjing strip that fronts the Hip Hopson complex has added a few bars in the past few months to provide neighbors for Bang Bang pizza and Iki Korean restaurant.
Loading Lounge Bar & Food looks something like a cross of a furniture shop, a villa living room, and an Ikea-esque ski lodge. And that’s not a bad thing. This airy venue includes a lower level with an oval bar that is just inside the door and flanked by low tiers of seating, and an exposed upper level accessible by a pair of stairways. Expect a light and airy feel, with the color scheme including bone white, cement gray and tan offset by dark seating, including some funky blocky high chairs at the bar.
The hard surfaces amplified the dice game going on in a corner but that could easily be overcome by cranking the music volume. And that suggests the potential of this place, which on this night drew a young Chinese crowd: get a few people at the bar, where the bartender does nifty sleight of hand tricks; let the lounge areas fill to capacity; then gradually shift the music so the place takes on a club vibe.
Anyway, as for drinks, there is a series of cocktails based on the Western zodiac signs. If the Aries — a frutiy tequila-based drink — is any indication, my future holds more beer orders. Erdinger is rmb45, Hoegaarden is rmb35, mixed drinks are rmb40 and a two-liter Mojito is rmb198.
There is a food menu, but I had already filled up on cheese-topped bibimbap at Iki, so that will have to wait for a future visit.