Outside of the main entertainment areas. a few bright spots exist. An old factory in Dashanzi (North of die lido Hotel between the Fourth Ring road and the airport expressway), Factory 798, has become the trendiest art enclave in Beijing, best described as “Soho-esque”. The area hosts a bunch of galleries, studios, exhibition space, design companies, restaurants, bars and a Trailblazing spot-the Yang Club.
Salsa Cabana, located at the Beijing Lufthansa Center, is a popular place for Latin music with a six-piece Colombian band, sultry cocktails and a South American-inspired menu.
Just to the north of the Jianguomenwai Diplomatic Compound, and just east of Beijing’s International Post Office, is the John Bull Pub. Similar to a British pub run by a chain, the place attracts folks from the British Embassy down the street, and other stray foreigners looking for a bit of British ambience. There’s a pool table and Tetley’s on tap. Connected to the pub is the Sequoia Coffee Shop, which has excellent sandwiches and some of the best coffee in Beijing. It is open from 8.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Sex, booze, and rock n’roll live at Get Lucky Bar, which is way outing the middle of nowhere. Affectionately known as Beijing’s rock n’ roll bordello, this is one of the city’s best venues for rock music. The bar brews its own beer. Good luck finding it. Again, check City Weekend, Beijing Talk and That’s Beijing for listings.
The Stone Boat Bar, just a five-minute walk to the west of the south gate of Ritan Park, overlooks the small lake in the park, and serves mixed drinks, coffee and snacks.
Beijing’s hippest and most exciting new night spot is the Icehouse, a stylish bar featuring blues music by leading international bounds. This bar, located just800 meters from the eastern gate of the Forbidden City, was once the actual Qing dynasty Imperial ice house. A second floor resultant features exciting dishes created by New York chef, Bryan Emperor, who previously worked for ‘Nobu’ in New York City. Icehouse is next door to The Huafu International Hotel, at the western end of the food night marker in Wangfujing.
Finally, there’s Maggie’s Bar, Beijing’s worst kept, longest running, inside joke. Go there and find out why. Leave the kids at home. The Workers’ Stadium location shut down in July 2005; instead go to The spot directly to The right of the south gate of Rican Park and look for the red neon sign in English.