Much-missed legendary bar The Den closed one year today after nearly two decades of serving as everything from a sports bar to home of one of Beijing’s best happy hours to a place to grab drinks and snacks round the clock, whether it was 4 PM or 4 AM. While XL and others have picked up some of the slack, when it’s one of those late late nights and “where next?” arises, we still don’t have a good answer.
Whether it was that stellar happy hour (half-price beer, mixers and pizzas, 5 PM to 10 PM, 365 days per year), the good pub grub (including the nasi gareng, chicken corden bleu and artery challenging Den Combo), the tough but lovable staff, the diverse clientele that meant some of the wackiest people-watching opportunities in the cities or intangibles like the Olympic-themed food in 2008 or the dumpling station set up for Chinese New Year so customers could try making their own, The Den had a spirit like no other place. We often refer to people as “characters”: The Den was the bar scene equivalent of that in Beijing.
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