At the risk of irking some members of the quarter-century Old-China-Hand been-here-longer-and-know-more-than-you crew, I’m going to refer to Frank’s Place as the first standalone bar of Beijing’s modern era. And say that I was a bit gutted to find this place–which opened 25 years ago just a hop, skip and jump from Workers Stadium before relocating to Lido–gutted. I heard a few weeks ago the place had closed but only managed to get there on Sunday and found the sign gone, the deck empty and the interior littered with rubble. Word is this space might reopen as a reinvigorated Frank’s–it’s a wait-and-see situation.
Meanwhile, John Harkness, who has run the place in recent years and is well-known to veterans for his Goose ‘n’ Duck projects, has just taken over the spacious second-floor lobby bar in Crowne Plaza Lido and renamed it Upper Duck. Not surprisingly, it has sporty features, including a pool table and three dart boards, as well as a stage. Redecorating is to come, thus the place is in soft-open mode, but things should be all spiffy in a month or so.
Meanwhile, The Hockey Bar, sibling / next door to The Irish Volunteer, is converting it’s back area to a darts room, Eudora Station, which had a good reggae band on the weekend, remains one of those places that doesn’t seem to get mentioned much but draws a steady crowd, and Park Square, well, seeing it reminded me how long it has been since I spent quality time in Lido and that I need to book a date soon.