great leap brewery image st patricks day weekend with five stouts and a bagpiper

Sips & bites: Funny stuff at Fubar, plus Mesa, Paddy’s Irish Bar, Great Leap Brewery

Comedy Club China returns to Fubar tonight with a lineup of jokers that includes Evan Eames from Shanghai. I caught the first show and every comedian inspired at least one major laugh, with Ryan Ha leading the way. The doors open at 8 PM, the show starts at 9 PM and the rmb50 entry fee gets you two shots. One for hepatitis and one for the flu. (Drum roll.) Thank you. Thank you very much. I’ll be posting here all week. By the way, TAPS, beneath Luga’s Villa, has also been hosting Comedy Club China events of late.

Shanghai transplant Mesa will hold its official opening on Friday from 8 PM to midnight. It’s on the third floor of Swire Sanlitun Village North. (That’s the village that doesn’t have a Blue Frog, Union Bar & Grille, Element Fresh, Flamme, Hatsune, Tairyo, et al.) Tickets are rmb100 and get you a free flow of booze and tapas and there will also be live jazz and a charity auction. Mesa will still have dinner service, from 6 PM, but limit it to a rmb268 set menu. Expect a big turnout, get your tickets early, find the details here, etc.

Paddy’s Irish Bar also opens Friday night. The party starts in Tongli Studio at 7 PM or, if they are still putting down the plush green carpet, 8 PM. A member of management says to expect free beers for early arrivals and free shots throughout the night. Two bands are on the slate, with one said to consist of a bunch of international school teachers — let’s just acroynym-ize that and call them BOIST for the moment — at 9 PM followed by the Beijing Beatles at 10:30 PM. Maybe the latter can do “Danny Boy” with “Let It Be” lyrics or vice versa.

Finally, first out of the gate with a St. Patrick’s Day event is Great Leap Brewery. This brew pub will celebrate for an entire weekend — March 16 and March 17 – with rmb200 getting you a day of free flow Great Leap beer, including five stouts. And if you are there on Sunday, you can enjoy the musical stylings of a yet-to-be-named bagpiper, who, it is hoped, will play “If You Think I’m Sexy” (see So I Married an Axe-Murderer). More details below…

great leap brewery image st patricks day weekend with five stouts and a bagpiper

Otte e Mezzo Opera Bombana Parkview Green Beijing China (2)

Opera in the Parkview Green: Italian restaurant and bakery Bombana set to open in April

Otte e Mezzo Opera Bombana Parkview Green Beijing China (1)Otte e Mezzo Opera Bombana Parkview Green Beijing ChinaOtte e Mezzo Opera Bombana Parkview Green Beijing China (2)Italian restaurant and bakery Opera Bombana, younger sibling of well-regarded 8 1/2 Otto e Mezza in Hong Kong and Shanghai, should give the city some added pizzazz when it officially opens — hopefully by early April — in Parkview Green.

Diners can expect a combination of dishes from menus created by namesake chef Umberto Bombana at the original location and Opera’s executive chef Marino D’Antonio, who most recently headed the kitchen at Sureno in The Opposite House. Danny Allegretti is restaurant manager.

The main floor of Opera Bombana is dominated by a dining room that will seat 60-plus people beneath high ceilings punctuated by large fans. It also contains an open bakery and an enclosed room for aging meats and cheeses – customers will be able to enter and create their own platters.

Upstairs is a wine ‘cellar’ and a large L-shaped private room that can be partitioned into smaller areas for six, eight or twelve people. A prep room there is connected via dumb waiter to the main kitchen downstairs, which itself covers a good deal of territory and has a dedicated pasta room.

The decor uses earth and wood tones while the angled facades, tiered staircase and various nooks and crannies give it added texture. A wall of mirrors to the south provides views of Parkview Green courtyard and its art — a mass of wolf sculptures at the moment: are these a theme in Beijing? — and, higher, the skyline toward Chang’an Avenue.

To summarize, things are looking good.

You can find Opera Bombana on the lower level of Parkview Green, close to Din Tai Fung and not far from a giant statue — to put it crudely — that seems to be either of a) a bull farting a giant white cloud while plowing a guy from behind or b) a bull impaled via the anus on a cement column while plowing a guy from behind. The photo is below. You make the call.

Opera Bombana is not far from this.
And pretty much across from this.
And as cool as gelato.
Don't have an image for 'bars for sale' so this will have to do.

Jobs in China: SALT seeks restaurant supervisor and catering & events sales manager

Lido area restaurant SALT has a pair of job openings.

One is for a catering and events sales manager to create marketing materials, liaise with customers, and book events and catering jobs, among other duties. The ideal candidate has previous catering sales experience as well as contacts and experience in event management in Beijing. This is a commission based job and is available immediately.

The other is for a restaurant supervisor with front of house experience. SALT seeks someone with “impeccable presentation” and good people and communication skills who is able to deal with both customers and the kitchen team. This job is also available immediately, either part time or full time.

To apply, send your resume, photo and, for the supervisor job, salary expectations to info (at)

brunch at fourteen bar and restaurant beixinqiao beijing china

Sips & bites: Paddys Irish Bar, Pinotage II to open; brunch at Fourteen; Flamme drinks deal continued

brunch at fourteen bar and restaurant beixinqiao beijing china
Starter round during brunch at Fourteen…

Paddy’s Irish Bar is slated to open in the former Hercules space in Tongli Studio at 8 PM this Friday with entertainment by the Beijing Beatles. When I contacted Karl Long regarding the new project, he simply replied “I’ll talk to you next week”. Thus, I was unable to get comment on rumors the place will also be known as Paddy O’Herc’s and feature a rmb88 daily lunch special of Irish stew, Greek salad and Bailey’s coffee (with ouzo option) made by a laurel-wreath wearing Long as he recites the literature of James Joyce and Homer (the Greek guy, not the one from the Simpsons, and, yeah, I know Hercules is the Roman name for the Greek Heracles but I’m still going with the salad idea.) In any case, this is no way means an end to Paddy O’Shea’s, says Long, as the focus of that place remains sports, although it has seen a steady influx of competitors the past few years, including The Stumble Inn, James Joyce and Heaven Supermarket.

Look for a second branch of Shunyi restaurant Pinotage, which focuses on the food and drink of South Africa, to open in Sanlitun Soho as early as the end of March. It will join other country-specific venues like Che Diego Argentine restaurant and Ssam Korean restaurant and hopefully help boost the food scene in that complex. Pinotage will serve both as a restaurant and retail shop given that the proprietors import a large number of South African labels.

Fourteen has started a Sunday brunch from noon — or it could be 11 AM, my memory fails — to 5 PM. For rmb128, you get yoghurt, cold cuts, granola, smoked salmon, eggs, croissant, mixed breads, juice, coffee and more. For rmb40 extra, you get a free flow of the cocktail of the day, though we found the one on Sunday a bit sweet and thus several in our party felt obliged to switch to vodka sodas or Jameson’s. I’m looking forward to this place come spring weather. See here for my previous write-up on Fourteen.

Finally, that all-you-can-drink cocktail deal at Flamme on Wednesdays — rmb99 from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM — has been extended until the end of March. It’s applicable both at the Sanlitun location and — from March 15 — at the new one in Indigo in Lido. Check here and here for previous write-ups of this event.

See also:

fourteen bar and restaurant beixinqiao beijing china

Moth vs Flamme: On last night’s 99-kuai all-you-can-drink cocktail event

taiyro japanese restaurant sanlitun village on fire pic by s schwankert

Out of the frying pan: Fire in Swire Sanlitun Village South

tairyo restaurant sanlitun village on fire pic by s schwankert
Photo: Steven Schwankert

Dive instructor and writer Steven Schwankert was at Swire Sanlitun Village South during lunch today when a fire broke out at Japanese restaurant Tairyo Teppanyaki. He says it threatened nearby Thai restaurant Sukothai, above the new Page One bookstore. His tweets are below.

By phone, said Schwankert: “I have now seen fire response in two public instances [see the first one here] in Beijing and I find it genuinely frightening. Isn’t there a sprinkler system where someone hits a button and fills the place with water? And it took the fire department 20 minutes to get here. If the fire had gotten down to the book store, it would have been serious, since it would have been like a giant floor of kindling.”

He adds that gas has been turned off in Swire Sanlitun Village South, so don’t expect any hot food at the moment, and that the presence of fire trucks will likely cause traffic issues for anyone heading that way.

The fire comes as restaurants signing or renewing leases on the third floor of Swire Sanlitun Village South have been forced by management to remove their upper floors, apparently for fire safety reasons, with newcomers Greyhound Cafe and Cantina Agave doing so and Modo reporting that it will soon close for such renovations. It seems a cruel twist of fate since the biggest issue for places at this venue has been damage from water, not fire, due to sub-par roofing.

The Schwankert tweets (follow him here):

  • “Fire in Sanlitun Village, [Tairyo Teppanyaki] on fire, staff trying to put out with fire extinguishers”
  • “New Page One bookstore directly below site of fire, situation will be much worse if floor burns through.”
  • “Looks like Sukothai also affected by fire, flames still visible.”
  • “All Village restaurants told to stop preparing hot food until fire handled.”
  • “Sanltiun Village fire appears to be out, no apparent injuries. Fire crews still on the scene. Expect heavy traffic in SLT..
taiyro japanese restaurant sanlitun village on fire pic by s schwankert
Photo: Steven Schwankert