Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Time Gentlemen Please

I’m not a big fan of bars. Especially in China.

I am a big fan of proper British pubs. There are none of those in China. Please don’t tell me that there is a British pub in Beijing or Shanghai. There isn’t. There are ersatz pseudo-pubs. A plague on them.

Nearly all bars in Liuzhou are in fact, discos. Mostly patronised by under 14s (of all ages) intent on displaying their vomiting skills.

So, it is with sadness that I report the death of one of the few bars in which it was possible to hold a conversation with someone.

Time Bar was one of Liuzhou’s oldest bars, but it is no more. In fact, the whole second floor premises on 立新路 have been gutted. It is possible, I suppose, that they are rebuilding it from scratch, but that is unlikely. The area was bar central a few years ago, and a (very) few were worth visiting, but now there are very few left.

In fact, that Time Bar was but a branch of the much older, original Time Bar which is still in place and functional on 北站路. This was the first bar I visited in Liuzhou all of fifteen years ago. In fact, it was pretty much the only bar, then. Today it remains more convenient for my home, but less so for other people, being slightly adrift from the city centre.

In the words of the legendary obituarist poet, EJ Thribb (17½):


Farewell then,

Time Bar

Time’s up.

Update June 4th: Or perhaps not.

Tags: , , , . This entry was posted on Monday, April 30th, 2012 at 7:03 pm and is filed under Food and Drink, Liuzhou Life, Liuzhou News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

15 Responses to “Time Gentlemen Please”

  1. Asian Tuber Says:

    I guess watching 14-year-olds practice their vomiting would get a bit tedious in a short while. Hope you can find another real bar soon. Cheers!

  2. Keith Says:

    Keep an open mind folks. We are in China after all. The 14 year olds vomiting are not likely to wrap a bottle around your head as would happen in any British high street pub so that is a plus. Pullin bar next to Li Jing hotel is ok but whoever controls the music keeps playing 50 year old Jazz. Gets tedious. You can usually watch the premiership there though. Will try 2150 this Saturday night. Say hello if you see me. If us foreigners can find a friendly landlord and agree to use one establishment we might get what we want but the customer base is chinese and any good businessman will look after them first. I would.

  3. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    Fights are not unknown in Chinese bars either, although less common for sure.

    I’d rather have 50 year old jazz than Kenny G, the Carpenters or Cantopap anytime!

  4. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    I have been to Pullin bar once. It looked promising and I did have a fun evening there. However, the service was hilariously inept.

    When I arrived with a friend we sat down and after about ten minutes the waitress came to us. We were the only people in the bar. We asked for two beers and she disappeared for a full 25 minutes. We looked for her, but there was no one around. We could have looted the place. When she eventually returned, she came to our table. Without any drinks, but carrying a notebook and a pen. She wrote down “Two beers”, confirmed that this was correct then disappeared again. Five minutes later we eventually got two warm beers, despite having specified that we wanted them cold.

    Other friends arrived later and the service improved slightly, but not much.

    Also, I remember being distinctly unimpressed by their choice of beers.

    That was about 9 months ago. Hopefully things have improved. I wouldn’t be totally against giving it another try.

  5. Keith Says:

    Had a walk around town and confirmed that I have been to 2050 before. The only beer available was wheat beer mostly German Weissen Beer. The layout is only good for groups of friends at tables. No stools at the bar so no opportunity to meet new people.
    went to Pullin again and the Music Controller was playing some reasonable chinese rock. Sounded a bit Styx influenced. Then came the dreaded old Jazz. Bass, piano and singer were the only things I heard apart from the Frank Sinatra rendition of America America. I paid up and left immediately. I can tolerate any kind of music if it fits the situation but seriously this is for funerals only. Shame because this place has so much going for it. I saw from a taxi a place called Going bar just off Tianshan LU. Know anything about it?

  6. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    Don’t know that one.

  7. Keith Says:

    I will be in Pullin on Saturday from 11pm on.

  8. Michael Says:

    I’ve never been to Paulaner in the park but a lot of folks seem to swear by it. Maybe I need to give it a shot. I did like The Time bar… had no idea they’d gutted the place. I have enjoyed the Laowai nights at The Radisson. 100RMB all you can drink kind of thing and it is clean and cool and teaming with Laowai, which may or may not be a benefit!

  9. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    Yeah. I always think that if I want somewhere teeming with laowai, I can go home. The place is full of ’em!

  10. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    Note: Some comments have been deleted from this thread. This is something I think I’ve only done once before. But I will not put up with personal abuse – especially over something so trivial as which bar someone prefers.

    And for the troll’s information, part of the reason that I’m not the perfect English gentleman is that I’m not English. One of your many erroneous assumptions. But I’m delighted that you hate my always “negative about Liuzhou” blog so much that you visit it up to eight times a day.

  11. Keith Says:

    Right to be negative about Liuzhou. The bars are crap. Pullin was actually quite good on saturday only because of the FA cup final. There appears to be a big Liverpool fan club in Liuzhou. I counted 20 Liverpool shirts on chinese bodies. A very freindly bunch.
    By the way Micheal. Which Radison?

    Can I propose that all interested parties assemble at a predetermined venue from whence we will embark on an expedition to rate the Liuzhou bars.

  12. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    I am very seldom negative about Liuzhou. Does anyone really think that I would spend so much time, money and effort building the website and maintaining this blog about the city, if I didn’t care about it? Does anyone think I would spend so long living in the city if I hated it so much? The only time I deleted posts before was about someone else who was always ridiculously negative, to the point of boredom. Other readers of the blog were complaining to me about him.

    I am often cynical, but there is much to be cynical about. I am often sarcastic, but there is much to be sarcastic about. But I also try to point out the good. But hey, if people want to think all is perfect and rosy in Liuzhou, let them get on with it.

    I can answer for Michael. There is only one Radisson hotel in Liuzhou. You can read about it here. (Warning! This IS negative.)

    Their expats night (sic) is held every second Wednesday of the month in Bar 26 (on the 26th floor). It is not so much a “night” as a mere two hours from 7 till 9 pm when you can drink all you want for ¥99 per person (plus service). Doesn’t sound that much of a bargain to me!

    Expats' Night

    (Nice apostrophe failure in their ad. The difference between knowing your shit and knowing you’re shit.)

    I’ve never been. I don’t get back from work on Wednesdays until later than 7 and prefer to eat before going out drinking. 9 pm is when I’m looking to start; not finish. Of course,the Radisson probably know that and are betting on people staying on after 9 at higher prices. I wonder how many people ever get out only having spent ¥99.

    As to some kind of bar hunt, then if you want to organise it, I will mention it here. But I will warn you it has been tried before – several times – and always failed. The problem is people want different things. You have the poor teachers who want Liquan beer at the cheapest possible price all the way through to the high salaried 5 star hotel expats who want to pretend they aren’t in China, at all and everything in between.

    As for me, I get a constant free supply of French and Italian wines as a work perk, so I’ll stay at home with a nice chilled bubbly and think of you!

  13. Ray Says:

    I think you have been very helpful, especially to a “New Loawai” ! Whoever thinks you have been negative doesn’t know Liuzhou too well. I have ticked of places on my list, just from you being down right honest and straight forward ! Keep up the honesty.
    I have been here a 18 months now and can get camambert (you aren’t the only one, found the place !!), good bread, Cheddar cheese (Blocks, not slices), Mozarella, Olmeca Gold Tequila, butter, margarine etc etc, only because of this site !!

  14. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    Thanks, Ray.

  15. Ray Says:

    Went to the Pullin Bar yesterday, and although during the day, found it to be pleasant, with the manageress, Jennifer and her bar crew very helpful, with good service. My favorite beer is the local Liquan, but not sold here, but the Poulanger was a fair substitute. I normally have a couple of beers on a Saturday at the “grand hotel” watching the world go by through the window. Prices at both are fairly good, but the chips are the best at the Grand.

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