This week we introduced the 2nd annual Beijing Cream Bar and Club Awards (VOTE HERE), with 20 categories divided into four groups. Here’s Hannah Lincoln with a closer look at the group Little Miss Dance.
You’re two beers and three shots in, and it suddenly dawns on you that it is your God-given mission to share your sexiness with the world (or at least with Beijing’s other dance-floor lepers). Bearing that cross, you drag your friends to the nearest club (sidewalks of dancing ayis notwithstanding), ready to commit some serious sacrilege.
Bar Blu is great if you’re into drunk high schoolers, and Xiu is a reliable go-to for whoring yourself unto the winds. Mix and Vics are like the pair of freshmen girls who are so inseparable they don’t even hook up alone, proudly reeling in and tag-teaming whichever guy they target. But as happens to proud sluts, they burn out fast — Beijing has long since moved past the freshman phenomenon that was these two. Now let’s address the elephant in the room: neighbors “douche Lounge” and Salsa “Shitty-Fuck” Caribe are in tight contention to out-sloppy-fuck one another. If these two bars were people, they would appear at networking events and orgies but never anyone’s birthday party. D Lounge is flush with a-holes but perhaps takes itself too seriously to liberally spread its seed (is there even dancing there?); Salsa Caribe takes the cake.
I’ve been to a lot of bars in Beijing and I honestly have not heard of half of these. School is pretty chill but some bygone write-ups on the Beijinger spoke of violence against foreigners. So in the spirit of buying into rumors (Oppo Weibo Style), School wins this Confucian Peace Prize. Congratulations!
I did a double-take when I saw Modernista on this list, until I realized that perhaps Modernista puts the hutong in bro. Still, it’s not close to winning this category. “YOLO!” — so were the last words of one guy who decided to jump off Kokomo’s roof on Halloween night. Now there are plastic walls along the stairwell, nailing down the feeling that when you’re stuck in Kokomo, you’re fucking stuck in Kokomo. (He was all right, but he complained to his girlfriend non-stop about his sprained ankle for a week after.) YOLO? Spare me.
2 Kolegas pulls its weight with the occasional break-out concert. Jianghu has some diamonds in the rough, and is a stand-out platform for China’s ethnic minority musicians. Temple’s got a great attitude all around, and What Bar does its own esoteric thing, which trickles down into XP for more accessible shows in a living-room atmosphere (more on that below). I’m going to go with Temple for its dependability. When Jianghu started doing cover-charges upward of 50 yuan, I was done with that place.
If you’re into see-and-not-be-seen, then What Bar and XP are the places for you. Do not go looking for a consumer experience, as XP is more of an office for Maybe Mars than an actual bar. If you’re into experimental music, then happily headbob with other Beijing music and beer connoisseurs… if you’re not, then sitting through a show at XP feels like enduring Dante’s inferno on ‘shrooms. However, due to its unmonitored stand-up nature, I’m going to have to go with Hot Cat as the place where music sucks. Where’s the safety net for shittiness at this place?
Vote in the 2nd annual Beijing Cream Bar and Club Awards! (Image credit Katie)