Xian Bar



Xian Bar is located near the 798 Art Zone on Jiuxianqiao Road. For the name of the bar, ‘Jiuxian’ means ‘the god of alcohol’. Perhaps the manager hoped for the blessing of this Chinese Bacchus by choosing the name Xian. There are classic cocktails (the usual suspects from Cosmos to Sidecars, all 60 RMB) and ten types of martinis (from 60 RMB), there are creative signature drinks such as ‘Thymeless Passion’, a gin, ginger, and lime blended with fresh thyme (80 RMB). The show-stealer though is the whiskey selection, with more than 150 by-the-glass options and if you buy a bottle and don’t finish it, they’ll keep it behind the bar for you for next time. Those coming here expecting the buzz of Punk – The Opposite House’s wildly popular basement bar that shut this summer – will be disappointed. Rather, Xian is Punk’s suave older brother, who knows how to show you a good time without getting you wasted. This is perhaps wise considering the clientele is more likely to be those living in the neighboring Lido area than – as was often the case with Punk – straddlers drifting in from Sanlitun Bar Street. Set over three floors, there’s a live jazz band Tuesday to Friday nights in one part of the bar, a basement with pool tables, foosball and retro arcade games, and, elsewhere, plenty of art-filled alcoves and private corners with leather armchairs.