If there had been an exam regarding the philosophical quandaries of beer pong, or the scientific procedure in concocting the perfect long island iced tea, I would have aced student life. I won’t lie; I miss the crazy mish-mash of day and night turning into one, hours filled with a mix of horror, fascination, euphoria, and the highly charged cycle of caffeine and alcohol that kept me, and almost every other student, pacing through our degrees.

More often than not we would always have one place in town we could call home, and our 2014 Annual Bar & Club Awards told us students in Beijing have found theirs. We asked Joshua Lally from Best Student Bar winner Lush what strategies he employs in keeping the attention of such a voracious group of people, and what he would do if he ever had to prep them for an exam:

Students are always a flitting bunch, how do you keep them loyal?
Through a series of devious ingestions of nanorobots, slowly served over the course of many weeks of “free” tequila shots. But to be serious, even though most of the students come through on very short visits, this is an experience that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. So we just try to be the place they call home for the short time the share our city. People have a great affinity for the place that made them feel at home in the middle of sometimes strange and overwhelming experience.

Have you noticed any major changes to how students are approaching the nightlife scene in Beijing?
There aren’t so many changes in how or where they party. However, the pollution is putting a damper on the desire for students to want to spend a semester in Beijing, so more students are opting for shorter programs or not coming at all. The ones that do come will still party just as hard and in just as many ways as they did before though.

Are there any special secrets about your bar you could share with us?
Haha, the other bar owners wish! There’s actually one secret that I think is very important to share and that is the value of having good people in your company. I know it’s a boring secret, and nothing along the lines of tequila robots, but your staff are the ones who 90% of your customers deal with 90% of the time. We have a great family of staff members in our company who all come together to do something great. And to shamelessly promote our sister company (and another True Run periodical), you can read a lot more about it here.

If you could choose one drink from your menu to give as a test/examination for students, what would you choose?
Tequila. The rest of the city gets the fancy infused cinnamon-strawberry-dry-ice fogged-cranberry cosmo, the craft beer scene, or infused rums served out of a mixture of intricate glass containers. We have great drinks too, and we pride ourselves on only serving genuine alcohol, but nothing equalizes a crowd of people of all ages and from all over the world like tequila. As far as a final exam, I envision a drink off to end all drink offs, in the style of that one scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark.


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