Three Qingdao Bars: Flinders, Freeman and LPG

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I found time during a recent 36-hour visit to Qingdao to check out three bars with my friend MB, who is based in the city. This was my first visit since a 48-hour whirlwind tour a few years ago with Ian Burns of Red Star / The Beijing Beatles. Fortunately, this time around I didn’t need a week to recover!
qingdao bars flinders freeman and lpg
Flinders was the newest and most polished of the trio. This proper pub is very well thought out, from a decor complete with wood, brick and industrial touches to an impressive mural (Adelaide, no?) to a setup that includes tables, a nice wide bar and screens for sports fans. We found a light crowd on arrival but it quickly grew during the hour we spent here. We opted for large bottles of Bombardier at rmb25
qingdao bars flinders freeman lpg
My last visit to Qingdao included two stops at Freeman. This spot is a bit roughed up after nearly a decade but that just gives it more character. I like the long table down the middle, the colorful touches in the decor, the option for live music, the lineup of whiskies and the overall vibe. If I lived in Qingdao, Freeman would be my regular haunt. We had Tsingtao at rmb15 per bottle.
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LPG — Let’s Play Games — is one-part each Nanjie, 1F, the original Kai Club and Chaoyang West Gate-era Goose and Duck. It’s a place to pound drinks and get sloppy. There are lots of nooks and crannies, including a three-level area out back that includes a pool table. The staff were in Super Mario outfits on this day due to a theme party. Anyway, I happily sipped Chimay Red (rmb40) until MB decided, after our table swelled to a half-dozen people, that it was a good idea to get a bottle of Jagermeister. That is NEVER a good idea. Nor is the owner deciding that, as it is your first visit at LPG, you need to try a drink called The Guillotine. Not surprisingly, this ended up being our last stop, but I look forward to returning to Qingdao for more exploration.

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