I always feel a bit naughty when I’m allowed behind a bar’s cashier counter to get an up-and-close inspection of the booze on offer, like I’ve invaded some sacred land where bartenders rule with an iron cocktail shaker and fire off unforgiving shots to thirsty customers. So when a manager says “yeah, sure, jump behind,” I’m over there quicker than you can say ganbei.

“We’re trying to be the new Heaven, but more.” That’s Heaven Supermarket to which said manager is referring, far from some spiritual paradise. I’m told that is the reason for allowing patrons free rein behind the heavyset lean-to table that divides the drinks from the dance floor. While the variety of beers and spirits is not quite as heavenly as the aforementioned bottle bar, with about half a dozen fridges stocked with a beer heavy focus (most of the standard brands come in at around the RMB 30 mark) and bottles of spirits fetching closer to the RMB 400-500 mark. The “more” part of the description is certainly apparent in their overhaul of the old White Rabbit space.

Some talented Beijing spray-paint artists have staked their claim to their walls, with an eclectic visual variety of geometric neon shapes on one side, and a cartoonish Beavis and Butthead-esque portrait line-up on another. While this may be called the Other Top Club, don’t expect them to conform to Top 40 music. A tidy looking DJ booth sits firmly at the back on a wide central platform where the thumping beats of electronic music blasts across the dance floor. Careful where you step though, as the aisle for drinks perusing is dim at best, with a slight slope to it that like a cliff drops down to stairs without warning.

Set in a desert of dirty bar holes selling death by the cupful, this oasis of decent beer and delicious beats is certainly a welcome watering hole to Sanlitun’s bar strip.

Other Top Club
Daily 11am-2am. 2/F, Unit 2, 43 Bei Sanlitun Nanlu, Chaoyang District. 6415 0299
1 km northwest of Tuanjiehu (Line 10)

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Photos: Uni

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