Bar Street: love it or hate it, the Magaluf-meets-Beijing vibe of the expat enclave was one of the most integral bits of Sanlitun, and now it's been drastically altered. As in, half of the street's been bulldozed.
Properly known as Sanlitun Hou Jie, the infamously divey street has played host to all kinds of exploits since it transitioned into one of Beijing's most notable nightlife areas back in the noughties. We're pouring a glass of fake alcohol out in memory of the place, because it sure as hell has changed beyond all recognition.
Fans of Biteapitta
, the rooftop sleaze of Kokomo
and the top tunes at Rec Room.live
can breathe easy, however, as their side of the street was still alive and kicking, with no plans that we know of to send in the sledgehammers.
Alas, all of the nail salons, waxing joints, DVD shops and girlie bars on the left of Bar Street (from the Taikoo Li South end) have all been eradicated, with only a digger, a few piles of glass and a welder chucking up sparks in the middle of the road to ever prove they were there.
The bars, food slingers and ciggie stalls plonked on the left-hand side of where Bar Street meets Sanlitun Lu are also no more, with premises on the right-hand side (nearest to Moka Bros
) currently unmolested.
The Government's reasoning for the wipeout, roughly paraphrased
, is as follows: the businesses that went bye-bye were in situ against regulations that have been in place since before their arrival, and getting rid of 'em will have a net benefit to Beijingers as they were pretty damn ugly.
One thing's for sure, though; whatever happens, it's inevitable that Mojito Man will return.
'That is not dead which can eternal lie/ And with strange aeons even death may die': HP Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu
RIP Bar Street. Time of death, April 24 2017.