“Small but perfectly formed.” You never hear people refer to big things as “perfectly formed” – why is that? Maybe it’s because people don’t feel the need to patronize big things.
So, Minibar. Yes, it’s small, so small in fact, that it can barely fit three people. But does that make it beautiful or perfectly formed? No, of course it doesn’t. Minibar is chaotic and claustrophobic. It’s like someone opened up your closet – ripped out all the clothes and fitted it with a beer tap. No, it’s worse than that: it’s like they left all your clothes in there, and still fitted it with a beer tap. It’s a mess. A brilliant, disorganized drunken mess, that sprawls untidily out across the street – fighting and shouting, until eventually one of the neighbors decides to call the cops.
How long Minibar’s neighbors permit the bar to ply it’s trade remains unknown, and depends we imagine on how many days a week it decides to actually open for business. On the two weekend nights we visited (Saturday and Sunday) Minibar alternated between jam packed: three people in the bar (including the barman) and a further 15 outside. And totally empty: the barman apparently too hungover from the night before to open up the shutters.
Some will be quick to write Minibar off as some type of novelty bar. One for the Guinness Book of World Records, but nothing more. In actual fact, Minibar is a straight-up drinkers’ bar that just so happens to pay very little in rent.
There’s no pretension, dress code or fancy cocktail menu. The import beers are cheap: Coopers (RMB35) and draft Vedett (RMB35). And the bar is surprisingly well-stocked – so well stocked that it takes up a third of the bar’s floor space (but then that’s not hard). What happens beyond summer, when it begins to get cold and drinking on the sidewalk is no longer an option is anyone’s guess. But for now, we recommend you enjoy it while you can.
// No fixed opening times currently. 90 Dongshisitiao Dajie, Dongcheng District (head west from Dongshisitiao subway exit towards Zhangzi Zhonglu subway exit, on the right hand-side of the road) 땜냘혐땜愷枷係90뵀 (No phone number available).