Thursday, April 01, 2010


Habitual denizens of Nanluoguxiang such as myself are oft heard to complain that these days it seems to be impossible to set up any sort of business along the street other than a t-shirt shop. (Well, or a matchbox shop...)

Wouldn't it be nice to see a bit more variety in the neighbourhood's offerings? How about one of those good old Chinese "adult health" stores, for example? Or a women's underwear shop? (Ah, I have fond memories of that sexy lingerie shop that was improbably hiding in the hutongs just around the corner from the original Le Petit Gourmand - before the old Sanlitun was demolished to facilitate the transplanting of enclaves of downtown Shanghai into the heart of our formerly cheap'n'cheerful city.)

Be careful what you wish for! It seems a smalltime Chinese entrepreneur with psychic abilities has been tapping into my brainwaves, and has created an entirely new kind of business venture: a bar that also sells ladies' skimpy undies!

It delights in the name of Thong, and is hiding away in one of the little hutongs just off Nanluoguxiang. I don't think it's been around long, and I wouldn't bet on it surviving very long either - so check it out while you can.

The underwear on offer seems to be fitting into the Nanluoguxiang template by being more jokey/cutesy than outright sexy - little hearts and butterflies and lipstick-kiss motifs, that kind of thing. And I think it's all knickers so far, rather than bras or teddies or basques or.... (Stop me, someone!)

There also seems to be some kind of promotional gag where they say they'll give a free cocktail to any female customer who donates them a pair of knickers. No-one seems to have taken them up on that yet, and I'm hoping that no-one will. It has the potential to be extremely unsanitary. (I think the intention is that people should bring an extra pair in specially - newly laundered [or, better yet, new and unused] - rather than just ripping off the pair they're wearing. However, the owners don't seem to be explaining the concept very well.)

It's quite a cosy little spot, and the booze is as appealingly cheap as it is in most other bars and cafés around there. And the owners are a jolly couple who are prepared to indulge my endless suggestions for additions to their music playlist: Every Little Thong She Wears Is Magic/Every Little Thong Just Turn Me On..., These Foolish Thongs Remind Me Of You, No Thong Compares 2 U, Thongs For The Memory....

Another engaging oddity in the neighbourhood. We should enjoy it while we may.


The British Cowboy said...

You missed out the Queen classic:

Crazy Little Thong Called Love

Froog said...

And U2, I believe, had one called The Real Thong.

Neil Innes, of Monty Python and Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band fame, once did a C&W style song called One Thong On Your Mind (well, it was "one thang"). I'll post that if I can find it (it's about how women pretend to complain that men are all sex-obsessed, but eventually grow disappointed that we're all sport-obsessed instead - very funny).

Gary said...

Can I be the first to call shenanigans on this post?

There isn't really a bar called Thong, is there? Not even in Beijing!

Froog said...

How can you doubt me, Gary? Shenanigans, indeed!!

Prodnose said...

What? You mean this place doesn't really exist? What a swizz!

Froog said...

No, I'm afraid not, Prodnose.

Well spotted, Gary. Most other folks seem to have been duped by this. I suppose there have been many far less plausible bars in Beijing over the years.