Saturday, August 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Brick!

The Brick, way down yonder Shuangjing way, is, I learn, having a little first anniversary bash tomorrow: two-for-one Tsingtaos and a few other specials.

I missed the opening last year because I was away in Edinburgh (ah, Edinburgh... I wish to god I was there again now!). In fact, I've only really discovered the place within the past few months, and haven't yet managed to get a crew together to attempt a really big session there.

I don't love the place: terrible location (for me!), eccentric pricing (mostly quite reasonable - but all over the shop, and with unnecessarily complicated two-tier 'happy hour'/'regular price' sets of menus), and rather charmless setting in a retail space amidst a string of small restaurants and barbershops. On the very considerable plus side, though, they do have a great range of beers; and young Ryan is an amiable host, and very handy in the kitchen. And I kind of like the name, because Holling was my favourite character in Northern Exposure.

Also (the main reason why I've hankered for some time to try and spend a full evening there), they seem to attract quite a lively and diverse - and often, it seems, packed - crowd of laowai 'locals'. There seems to have been quite an explosion of the foreign population in that south-eastern quadrant over the past couple of years - helped, no doubt, by the opening of the Line 10 subway line following the East 3rd Ringroad down thataway.

Moreover - with the exception of the gaggle of stupid-expensive cocktail bars around Guomao, and the new-ish music bar, Mako, a few blocks to the south-east - there isn't really another bar, not another foreigner-friendly bar anyway, within a good 3 or 4 miles in any direction. Imagine that! Being the only game in town in 40 sq miles or more!! No wonder they're doing so well for themselves.

It looks like tomorrow would be an ideal opportunity for me to go and check out the scene there. It's a darned pity that my self-imposed abstinence from alcohol is so style-cramping this month.

Ah well, have a great time, guys! I will look in on you again very shortly - when I've got my 'drinking head' on me again....

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