Four years ago, Beijing was a city known for its seedy bar street in Sanlitun and infamous Wangfujing night market (you know, the spot where you could eat anything and everything).
Set the clock to 2019 and everything has changed. The night markets are gone and swapped for luxury malls, and the bar street is now home to a high-end shopping center. This means bars now need to find more permanent homes – and a new niche to satisfy.
One such bar is Emotion House. Located right behind the rambunctious Heaven Supermarket location on Xindong Lu in Sanlitun, the lounge bar is essentially a reverse mullet: party in the front, all business in the back.
Upon entering the establishment, we’re greeted with a simple yet smartly designed layout where classic craftsmanship is the main focus. The chairs are dangerously comfortable, inviting you to stay beyond that “I’m only getting one drink.” The bar itself is a solid chunk of beautifully treated wood, with a bar back of bottles that’ll definitely wet your whistle.
This is by no means a cheap bar – we’re talking New York City prices, but in Beijing. (Hey, those Beijing billionaires need a place to drink too, we suppose.) We start with a Derby Fizz (RMB150) – expertly crafted, this sweet and sour drink made with Kentucky rye whiskey made us feel right at home. The Classic (RMB160), more sweet than sour, is light on its feet, though the combination of French brandy and Cointreau, shaken cold, provides a much-needed jolt. At this point, we’re feeling warm enough to brave the frigid winter wind outside.
Emotion House is the perfect antithesis to the neighboring bars where the music is bumping, and good for those looking to take a break from their regular rotation of drinking joints. With an intimate atmosphere, soothing cocktails and even a decent selection of cigars, Emotion House is a welcomed addition.
[Images via Andrew Braun/That's]