Fangjia Hutong is a pretty hopping place these days. Between Ramo, el Nido, Cellar Door, and a few others, the hutong is a pretty solid draw for a dinner out and then on into drinks later in the evening. It's got a more relaxed and laid-back feel than, say, Sanlitun, which seems like a more involved thing somehow. That's Fangjia's draw, I think. It's pretty dressed down. It's easy peasy.
Adding to the cultural capital of the alley is a new proper drinks-bar called Fang, which takes it's name from the hutong itself.
Fang is what you see is what you get -- a tiny, two-table patio encircled in bamboo, and then a small, one-room bar, oriented around the all-important counter top and drinks shelf. Music is a tasteful and unobtrusive mix of afrobeat, jazz, and house. Overall, the place is nicer, slicker, and more polished than the other drinking spots in the neighborhood, but it's still unmistakably Gulou. It's tiny. It's in a hutong. It's all wood and flickering candles. It's owner-operated.
Fang comes 50-50 from the el Nido owner (he's like the OG of this street, basically) and from an expat guy living in Beijing, this being his first F&B venture in the city. Cocktails are the explicit order of the evening, and they've secured the services of the ex-man at Miles bar to make them. He's got that waistcoat suit bartender thing going on with his attire. He's got truly, truly excellent hair. He's really good at making drinks. Seriously good drinks. Seriously good hair, good dresser, seriously good drinks. The place is still in soft opening mode right now (it only opened two days ago, in fact) and they're still working on the cocktail list, but if you stop by now, they'll have a cocktail on special and the ability to make something to suit your tastes. They can do that drinks consultation thing. Very appreciative of cocktails and the art of mixing fine drinks in Fang. (They're moving for around 40-60rmb or so.)
What other information can I give you? Ah, there's this: While I was sipping on my (very delicious) Strawberry Basil Smash, I did the "People Nearby" function on my WeChat. These are the "people nearby" Fang:
So there you have it, my friends.
I don't know what that says about Fang. Probably nothing. Definitely nothing. But I just thought you'd like to know. About the people nearby. Think I'm going to do this for every review from now on. It's my new thing!
The take-away: Recommended. Fans of really good cocktails in hip hutong bars, you should really check this Fang place out. It's good. No lie. Think they're going to do well. I'd say take a date to Ramo and then hit this place after. Definitely one of those kinds of places. As of this writing, (like three days after it's been soft open) they're already amassing some pretty positive buzz about the bar, and it's had a steady stream of people in for proper drinks. It's "the new place in Fangjia". You should get in before everyone else does.
Fang is at 59 Fangjia Hutong, right next to el Nido.