When Migas suddenly announced it would close its iconic Sanlitun location, partiers, Europeans and European partiers found themselves tumbling into a grave existential crisis. Migas Sanlitun was the city’s rooftop. It was Sanlitun’s chicest dancefloor. It was large enough to run track on, and its egg-shaped booths were intimate enough to make out, uh, we mean relax, in. Migas Sanlitun’s last party, on December 31, had a markedly funereal air for a New Year’s Eve countdown. And then, the top floor of Nali Patio went quiet.
Until now. The eggs are gone, but the rooftop lives on. The space no longer houses an award-winning Spanish restaurant – nor a late-night spot to grab Traitor Zhou’s bagels – but we’re happy to report that our favorite rooftop remains a charming and reasonably-priced spot for an evening out.
The Bell is a new project in partnership with liquor brand Martini to make an Italian-style terrazza in the middle of Beijing. The result is The Bell x Terrazza Martini, a two-floored indoor bar and outdoor rooftop. It is vaguely European in aesthetic – with a Vespa parked in the corner – though pink stucco columns give it a Cuban air. Palm trees add a refreshingly tropical vibe.
Dancers take note: This rooftop is noticeably more subdued than Migas. Couches and tables create more of a lounge than a nightclub vibe. Dancing continues downstairs, however, to the tunes of the house band.
This being a terrace sponsored by Martini (a vermouth), negronis are the way to go. We were delighted to discover that they’re only RMB50, and both delicious and strong. Generously-sized spritzes are another great option for sweaty summer nights. This being an after-hours destination in Beijing, expect lots of table service options as well. The wine and Champagne selection is strong. Trays of shots will be ordered. Hookah will be smoked.
Non-alcoholic delights can be found on The B x TM’s stacked menu of late-night grub. We enjoy the light-crust pizzas topped with ham, as well as other dishes designed for sharing – platters of oysters, charcuterie plates.
The whole Terrazza experience is designed to get you under the stars, lounging into the wee hours. Does Beijing need another lounge? No. Is this a lounge worth going to anyway? Yes. Can we think of a better date spot? Not really!
We’re happy to see the return of our favorite rooftop – and even happier that it comes bearing negronis.