Explore into hutong

By Iain Shaw (That's Beijing)
Updated: 2008-01-29 11:57

Rockstar Gongzuo is a chillout bar in the Gulou area, the new kid on the hutong. Don't yawn! Or actually: Yawn, and stop reading. This review is likely to earn the reviewer the undying hatred of all Rockstar's regulars, who fought tooth and nail against the unveiling of their local to the ravenous jackals-that is, you, our dear readers.

Sitting 20m back from the main path, Rockstar does its best to avoid standing out, but compared to the neighboring siheyuan, the high-ceilinged interior lends the already-large space a hangar-like ambience, like your college-student-brother's implausibly enormous living room.

Sink into the sofas lining the sides of the room-or, if you're dextrous enough, sit cross-legged around the low-lying kang table at the back wall. Wherever you settle, there's plenty to look at, from huge paintings and intricate lamps to shelves of books and other random clutter.

The staff dig the relaxed vibes as much as the clientele, but service doesn't suffer. But here's Rockstar's trump card: RMB 5 for a large Tsingtao. No typo. That's five kuai for 630ml of China’s finest. If you're inclined towards another tipple, the bar is amply stocked for whipping up mixed drinks at RMB 15-20.

For now, jazz-flecked electronic sounds float below the conversational buzz, but look out for Rockstar's upcoming regular music nights, in addition to film showings and other artsy events. In the meantime, the punters themselves can hack away on the guitar and bongos (included in the price of a large Tsingtao).

Rockstar Gongzuo
Open: 1pm-1am.
Location: 8A Guowang Hutong, Guowang Xi Xiang, Dongcheng District
Tel: 010-64013352


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