First published on 27 Jun 2011. Updated on 27 Sep 2011.
The single-room bar inside features a stage at the back, a bar running along one side of the venue, and plenty of comfortable sofas to relax on while listening to the music, all bathed in deep red lighting. While primarily a jazz venue, Vanguard features different bands almost every night of the week, showcasing the variety that Beijing has to offer.
With 20RMB Tsingtao, cocktails at around 40RMB, and a small but classy wine list, this intimate hutong hangout won’t break the bank, and works as a great after-dinner drinks venue. The volume of the band on stage fills the whole bar – unsurprising considering its size – so if conversation is your thing then maybe check out a different place.
If it’s the music that’s attracting you, expect to be quietly impressed – Vanguard doesn't featuring cheesy cover bands or crooning KTV egotists, but a selection of the city’s finest jazz musicians. A hutong jazz club already sounds self-consciously ‘cool’, but allay those fears and concentrate on soaking up the atmosphere, and Vanguard becomes a great venue. Ross Goulding