Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy trails, old friend

Jackson Bai, Beijing's best beloved barman, is starting a new job today.

This might not seem like such big news, since over the past year or two the young chap has been starting new jobs every few months. This one, however, is in...... Shanghai!! Some upscale nightclub called Mint, I gather.

Jackson is one of my oldest mates here in Beijing - chiefly through the first, great couple of years of the Yandai Xijie Huxley's, when he was running the place virtually single-handed (well, literally single-handed in the early days, I think) and made it what it was: for a while, the best little bar in the city (the 'Haiku Bar', as I liked to think of it, for twisted personal reasons!). In fact, though, I'd first met him two or three years earlier, shortly after we both arrived here, and had followed his progress through earlier Huxley projects - the original Sanlitun Nanjie Huxley's, the short-lived Huxley's II at Gongti Beimen, and the wonderful-but-doomed Red Yard. More recently he's been one of the major reasons for my hanging out so much at the old Room 101, and the only reason for my looking in on the new Salud II in Sanlitun.

He had a farewell bash at Tun on Saturday night, and was supposed to have been on a plane down to Shangers early yesterday evening. His many friends and fans here in The Jing wish him well in his new adventure - but we are going to miss him. Make sure you come back one day, Xiao Bai.

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