Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New locals

The major impact of my move to a new apartment is likely to be not the living space itself, but the slight shift in location which requires from me entirely new habits of perambulation.

For more than 9 years, I have been walking down Jiugulou Dajie almost every day of my life (well, not during the period from 2004 to 2006, when it was continuously under reconstruction, and I had to thread my way through the hutongs instead, but apart from that…). Now, nearby Beiluoguxiang (or Andingmennei) is my primary route into town instead; and, in particular, towards my favourite regular bars, my ‘locals’.

Most of the stuff I like around Nanluoguxiang – 12 Square Metres, MaoMaoChong, Salud, Pool Bar, Amilal – is about the same distance away as before. However, Gulou spots like Za Jia and Jiangjinjiu (and the less likely to be missed Gulou 121 and Laker’s) are in danger of dropping off my itinerary now. The proliferating bars and restaurants of Wudaoying Hutong, on the other hand, are now temptingly a little bit nearer.

And if I’m feeling lazy, I have some new bar options ‘on the doorstep’ – well, only 10 or 15 minutes away. Cangku, ZuiYuefang, and…..???


Froog said...

Cangku gets appallingly smoky, no ventilation at all (I've only looked in two or three times in the three years it's been open, and have never been tempted to stay). And ZuiYuefang is a nice space for music, but lacks much other appeal.

However, the really dangerous option is a new cocktail bar called Mai. It's a speakeasy-style place, hidden away in an unmarked siheyuan - but it looks very promising indeed. It's been in a sort of clandestine 'soft opening' mode these last two weeks, where the boss, Jeff, is giving away all the drinks for free. I have been trying not to abuse his hospitality...

I don't think I've ever previously become a regular at a place before it was even open!

(Oh, well, Amilal, arguably. And the expanded version of 12 Square Metres. And...)

Froog said...

Have to keep it 'secret' a little while longer...

Supposed to be launching formally from this weekend.