True Color strikes an imposing figure. The building itself looks like it could be a courthouse or a public library – not the sort of architecture that makes you think: I want to get drunk in that place. Perhaps oddest of all, the club rubs shoulders with the oh-so-innocent Maan Coffee, where teddy bears take the place of order numbers. The proximity feels like trying to get frisky with your high-school sweetheart while your kid sister is hosting a tea party with her dolls in the adjacent room. Beijing’s True Color is not the first of its kind. China is saturated with them, with locations in Chengdu, Guangzhou and more. Like McDonald’s and their Big Mac, True Color must be doing something right... right? The club’s hoity-toity tagline inspires confidence in a truly enlightening night out: ‘International. Art. Quality. Respect.’ That’s one ‘inclusiveness’ away from being the Beijing city motto. Past the obligatory Lambo parked just outside and the X-ray scanner just within, True Color reveals its true colours: very dark shades of tacky. Look, there’s the good people who come to a club to eat fruit, as if hot, young singles will swoon at all the vitamins they are packing. Look, there’s the poser DJ whose feigned knob-twisting bears far too much in common with a child mashing buttons on an arcade machine with no credits. Look, there’re the foreign bar staff who add just the right touch of ‘legitimacy’ to the place. For all its faults, True Color offers a few redeeming moments. We won’t say we didn’t enjoy the five-minute slave-and-mistress dance routine wherein a naughty girl mercilessly drags around two helpless, gyrating foreign boys bound in chains (such shows, though brief, start around 10.30pm each night). Keep an eye on the giant lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling: when the beat drops, so do they, again and again. The one palatable drink, the blue blaze, is set on fire as it’s being mixed. And unlike other Gongti clubs (we’re looking at you, Latte), True Color’s sound system won’t leave your ears ringing. Colour us underwhelmed. That being said, there’s a night’s worth of fun to be had here. Check it out once, marvel at the excess and then laugh about it over street beers at the closest chuan’r stand.
True Color Bar
Price Per Person: 171 RMB
Address: Building 58, Gongti North Road, Chaoyang District 朝阳区工体北路58号楼(See the Map)
Business Time: 8.30 pm-late