Sips & Bites | O’Pasta? Plus Tafelspitz, Moonshine, Jazz-Ya & more

O’Steak has quickly emerged as a go-to place for those seeking quality cuts at reasonable prices. Word is the team behind this venture is now using their noodles on a plan to serve, well, noodles, namely, at a new place called O’Pasta. According to one F&B observer, a likely spot is the former Hercules space just down from the first O’Steak on Xingfucun Middle Road just north of Workers Stadium. We shall see. (Hat tip to Mr B)

Meanwhile, relatively new Austrian restaurant Tafelspitz has temporarily closed for legal reasons, according to the manager. This Nali Patio venue has attracted a good number of people in search of Gruner Veltliner and other Austrian wines. There are plans to reopen but it’s unclear as to whether or not that will happen in Nali Patio.

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Moonshine has opened in the former Apothecary space with a welcoming layout and homier vibe. The place is run by Linch Li, who many will know from BBC, and comes with a detailed menu that includes the alcohol content and “drink unit” size of each drink — sometimes down to two decimal places! (Too much information!) I visited with friends on a recent Saturday night and food the drinks good (my Vieux Carre was boozy but balanced) though pricey (rmb95), the music upbeat and the staff friendly.

To mix old and new, we went, post-Moonshine, across the street to veteran Jazz-Ya, which opened 20 years ago. Given the recent closing of old-time favorites The Den and Ichikura, it seemed appropriate to check out a longstanding bar. As per tradition, I ordered the Long Island Iced Tea (rmb60). Drink three and you’ll be feeling all warm and cozy and historical and stuff.  I also stopped at Nanjie, which offers decent beer value — I grabbed a Brooklyn Lager (rmb30) — and then at The Local for a final pint before calling it a night.

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Finally, as noted in this post, Sanlitun Soho baijiu bar En Vain will move to near nearby digs. Soho is a tough spot for bars and it’s impressive this place has lasted since 2013. Here’s hoping the team keeps the same creative cocktails and glassware but ups the marketing effort so that this place is a bigger blip on the drinks radar. En Vain is open in Soho until the end of January for those who want to grab a last drink or two.

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