V*V (pronounced "Vivi") is a moderately-sized dance club and live music venue located in Chaoyangmen just north of Chaowai, with standard hip-hop and club fare most nights.
If that sounds bland, it's because the venue is too. The decor is attractive enough, with a luminescent spiderweb design that makes the space look like a Legend of Zelda boss's lair.
The dance floor is dominated by a stainless steel bar, and is surrounded on all sides by booths and small stand-up tables.
There are also six smaller rooms for private parties. The larger 30-person rooms are split level, with karaoke facilities below and comfortable couches on tall rises. Smaller rooms hold 15 people each.
However, V*V suffers from contradictory design issues emblematic of Beijing discos: The dance floor is small enough that patrons will be more comfortable hanging out in the well-appointed booths, but blaring music leaves sedentary customers with few options besides drinking and screaming.
In the end, V*V remains a venue both for meat-market style "socializing," and private parties of the fall-down-drunk karaoke variety (the couches are great for a drunken snooze). Barring special events – mostly hip-hop artists and DJs – entry is free. The clientele was mainly Chinese when we swung by, probably because Chaoyangmen's foreign crowd hasn't discovered it yet. V*V's southerly location and free entrance also make it a decent jumping-off point for Chaoyangers starting an evening of debauchery. Drink prices are typical for a nightclub: RMB 40 for simple mixed drinks, RMB 50 for cocktails.
Location: Gongti Nanlu A1, Chaoyang District
Opening hours: Daily 8pm-4am