Monday, April 23, 2007

Shenzhen Bar Exclusivity

Last Saturday night Jason and I went out to Richy bar. It is in the Lou Hu district beside the Lushan Hotel, next to Face (another well known bar. 深圳市庐山酒店Face Cafe). We had heard some good things about it from our friends, so we wanted to check it out.

Typically, Chinese night life starts around 9pm, while in NYC, it would start around 11pm or midnight. Instead of taking a break between dinner and going out, Chinese people merge the two into one activity. By midnight a lot of people are drunk and ready to go home. Also, a lot of clubs and bars completely close at 2am.

This early go-out time usually means that all of the cool bars and clubs are completely full by the time my friends and I get out
unless we go to Ubar, the typical western bar in Luohu.

Jason and I arrived at Richy bar at around 11:30pm. We assumed that we wouldn't get a place to sit, due to our tardiness, but we fully anticipated on mingling around the bar and hanging out.

After we got out of the cab, Jason led the way and walked towards the entrance. Next to the entrance were a group of 6 female hostesses as well as a security guard. As Jason was moving past the security guard, the guy grabbed him and asked him where he was going. When my friend pointed inside, the guard responded that there were no more tables available. I responded that we would sit at the bar or not even need a seat. Both suggestions came up empty. The guard refused us entry.

This was an extremely weird situation considering that this never happens in China. Of all the clubs Ive been to in China, in more than 15 different cities, I have never been turned away at the door. The Chinese bars do not have a line to get in or a small, exclusive capacity. They are designed excessively to maximize revenue. Anyone and everyone is allowed in.

As we walked away, we rationalized being turned away because this place was probably that cool. It was soooo incredibly trendy that it was already full. We gotta check this place out!

Before we walked 2 blocks, my friend Simon called me from inside Richy bar. He had just gotten in a couple of minutes before with my other cousin, Annie. . They stated that even though there were a lot of people, it was not at capacity.

With this revelation, Jason and I quickly ran back towards the club, assuming that a large group had just left. We also asked Simon and Annie to come out and get us. This time when the 4 of us attempted to get in, Jason was the last one in line. The 3 of us Chinese people didn't get hassled at all. Jason was stopped again.

Security Guard: You cant go in.
Me: Its cool, hes with us.
Security Guard: Does your friend know how to speak Chinese?
Me: Of course he does (talking slowly so that Jason could follow suit).
Jason: 我当然能说中文.

The guard looks him over again and finally lets him in.

We only stayed for a little bit inside. The music was good. The girls were hot and the ambiance was nice. It was, however, too crowed and difficult to get drinks.

When we walked outside and stood by the door, deciding where to go instead, Jason got a chance to talk to the security guard.

Jason: Why didn't you let me in before?
Secruity Guard: I didn't want any trouble.

I never knew that Jason was that big of a threat


Jason said...

I spoke to one of my friends about our experience and he said that specific area of town is becoming more and more selective about who is allowed to "hang out." He specifically was referring to Japanese people, but its possible that more and more Chinese people are becoming unsettled with the influx of Westerners and are trying to retain some places just for themselves. Or, this security guard was just a dickhead...

Anonymous said...

This happens on and off at Richy and nowhere else. Ton of new clubs in that area and around Shenzhen.

Mike said...

I have seriously been to every bar/club on that list.

Kinda bad actually.