RECENT years have been good to Beijing, particularly when it comes to entertainment and nightlife. The dining and drink scenes seem to constantly evolve and grow, and that includes the lounge and club sector. Clubbing’s not for everyone, and Beijing has plenty of low-key entertainment if, say, dive bars are your thing. But for those who like to get their dance on in style, there’s lots of opportunity to mix it up with the city’s beautiful people. Make sure your wallet is prepared, though. A night out at these clubs does not come cheap.
For those who just want a night of straight dancing and drinking, Mix is where to go. It’s smaller and appears less swanky than some of Beijing’s other nightclub venues at first glance, but make no mistake, Mix is always a good time. With room to move around on the dance floor and table space if you need to rest your feet, it tends to be more relaxed than clubs so packed you can barely move. There’s also a lounge area where you can order bottle service, and glimpse the way Chinese businessmen make deals and unwind — over expensive and indulgent late-night cocktails with colleagues and clients.
Located in the tony complex collectively known as The Place, Spark has become a place to see and be seen. The DJ spins pop hit remixes and there is a dance floor, but it can get incredibly crowded and the glamor pusses who flock here will have no problem shoving you out of their way if you interfere with their vanity walks around the bar. The drinks are good but pricey; if you have a large group, it may be worth ordering a bottle. Brace yourself for chaos and enjoy.
It’s impossible to include Mix in a round-up of Beijing nightlife and not mention Vic’s, which sits directly opposite Mix in front of the Worker’s Stadium. The huge club made its mark on the city as a dance and hip-hop venue, and hosts live performances and special events regularly. Founded in 2000 and still going strong, Vic’s is a veteran of the city’s club scene, and has expanded several times since it first opened.
Run by Acupuncture Records, Lantern is a mecca for electronic music lovers and top Chinese and international DJs. Lantern regularly hosts dance parties and special events, so you can bet there’ll be something fun going on whenever you happen to be passing through. The drinks here are not as expensive as at other clubs, and the hip, stylish blend of people here seem more interested in music and dancing than in showing off their expensive bling and nice blow-outs. If you’re looking for a club venue with a little edge, Lantern is it.
Club Suzie Wong
Located in Beijing’s Chaoyang Park West area, the name Club Suzie Wong will surely come up if you’re looking to splash out for an evening. Mention the name to anyone who lives here, and they’ll tell you all about the models who frequent the club — a night out here means you’re sure to be in attractive company. Everything about the club is meant to be an East-West hybrid, from the décor, to the management to the clientele.
Tip: If you’re into club hopping, plan to spend your night in the Gongti neighborhood, around the Worker’s Stadium. A number of bars and nightclubs are situated around the popular landmark, so you won’t have far to stumble while you explore Beijing’s club and dance scene.