Given the location, layout and patio, it always struck me as a shame that The Pavillion never ascended to the top ranks of Beijing’s bars and restaurants. Hopefully that will change as this space, across from the club zone on Workers Stadium West, is almost ready to re-launch. This time it will go by Pavillion Grill and have Billy Bolton of Chef Too handling the food and beverage.
Bolton gave me a tour today and we were later joined by Marlen, part of the takeover team from about a year ago. Pavillion Grill is divided into three sections:
- The restaurant: This includes three long and narrow areas, one with table seating, one with bench and table seating, and one designated as a “private” area, with a long curved glass facade that faces the garden (see photo below). There is also one private room, which will be “blinged-out Baroque“, says Bolton. The restaurant includes a wood-fired oven for pizza, rolls and the like, and a seafood station, which Bolton hopes to see do heavy traffic in platters / fruits de mer. He also aims to create the perfect steak for those who like it well done, an underappreciated crowd, he says.
- The piano bar: This room faces Workers Stadium West and will have about 10 seats at the bar, some table seating, and live piano acts. As for the alcohol lineup, expect to find at least two beers from Slow Boat and a wine list that is primarly “old world“.
- The patio: A platform of wood slats has been laid just outside the doors and will hold the main seating areas as well as a barbecue that Bolton says will feature everything from steak on a stick to Azerbaijani-style kebabs. In back are five mini pavillions, essentially metal frames with adjustable canvas covers. Each will hold six and ten people and can be booked for a night of eating, drinking and hookahs — in terms of the latter, Marlen says he has sourced the top equipment from Dubai. Even under a hot noon sun, this patio is a beautiful spot to sit and relax under the trees. On a cool night, it will be even better.
As for an opening date, Bolton says the bar and garden will be ready to go by June 1, with the restaurant opening within a month of that. Bolton is pretty confident about the date and says, “If you show up and I give you a paintbrush, then the drinks are on me.”