I usually spend The Super Bowl visiting a bunch of Beijing bars that are showing the game, an exercise that allows me to meet friends, to work off the breakfast or two I typically eat, and to have plenty of material for a post. This year, I cut back because: a) I struggle to care about American football enough to do this in the first place, b) the mind-numbing controversy over footballs and air pressure further deflated my interest and c) I had fondue last night and woke this morning with a football-sized mass of cheese in my gut that meant I needed an extra hour and five snooze alarms to get out of bed and thus got a late start. In the words of Marshawn Lynch, “I’m just here so I don’t get fined”. (I’m not even sure what I might get fined for but you can never be too safe given the unpredictably of NFL management.)
I only visited three places before settling at Q-Mex to eat a breakfast burrito (tasty), watch Katy Perry dance with plush sharks and fly through the air and stuff (“I Kissed a Girl” evoked Tun Bar, circa 2009), and witness a pathetic finish for Seattle (I’m waiting for conspiracy theories as to why the Seahawks cost themselves the game with arguably the worst call in Super Bowl history).
The tour started at Hooters, which seemed to be having dual Super Bowl / Roger Goodell Fan Club parties given the turnout. To be fair, the above photo is deceiving as it appears there were only three customers. In fact, attendance was more than 33 percent higher because there was one guy sitting at the bar. To put it into perspective, this place had one customer for every Super Bowl that New England has won in the past 14 years. Go Hooters!
Nearby, The Den had a far larger crowd although it was smaller than in years past. Once again, it offered a breakfast buffet and beverages for rmb100. I’m a fan of this place but it faces a lot of competition and could help itself by getting active in social media.
Then there is DB Cooper, the jeans shop in Sanlitun Soho that reinvented itself just a few weeks ago as a sports bar. I don’t know about other people, but my definition of a sports bar is a bar that shows sports. Events like, say, The Super Bowl. However, like Cooper himself, who hijacked a plane and then jumped out of it never to be found, the whereabouts of the staff was a mystery.
As for Q-Mex, I find myself at this place more and more, whether for the lunch special or the Tuesday night pizza deal or just to grab a drink. And it served us well for the Super Bowl, with most tables taken but not so many people that it was cramped, providing plenty of space to watch in utter astonishment as Seattle failed, at the end of the game, to activate Beast Mode. Seahawks fans will be shaking their heads at that one for a long time to come.