Erstwhile a low-key, super chill vibes hangout for outdoor drinkers and neighborhood alley cats, Hutong courtyard bar The Other Place has recently undergone some renovations and is relaunching itself with an electronic music mandate.
Same name, new look, new sounds.
We popped by to take some pictures of the new digs…
So, outside is basically the same -- rustic Beijing hutong classicism and dusty authenticity -- but the two indoor spaces have been redone and spruced up; a wall was knocked down to elongate the main performance area, a new record store is moving in, new lighting, new paint job, new stage for acts, new drinks game, new bits and pieces here and there.
It's a simple and unassuming space, tidy but lived-in, and pretty clean cut for a music venue.
The Other Place is owned by Wu Fei, formerly of Waiting for Godot, which is now Beetle in a Box -- something of a Gulou institution, that one. He's also got a cafe called Somewhere as well. For their music programming, it's resolutely an electronica, future music, noise art, avant sounds kind of direction. They're not even hosting a guitar amp and drums rock 'n' roll back-line -- nuts to that. Rock music, pshaw. Bookings are electronic music composers, performers, practitioners, disc jockeys. If you count Zajia Lab, XP, and in particular the Zoomin' Nights and the Wednesday School Bar Improv Meetings amongst your rotation, you should fit right in. Likewise if you prefer thinking man's dance music as opposed to throbbing nightclubs. The lion's share of the bookings are coming from the soon-to-be-launched electronic music label Sinotronics, founded by Markus M. Schneider and Josh Feola (that kid gets around), but they're also opening it up to left-field Beijing promoters of all creeds.
Speaking with Markus Schneider, the man also responsible for the re-do, he's envisioning it as more or less a social hub for Beijing's arts and music community -- an electronic music venue that is actually somewhat pleasing to spend time in, conducive to conversation, exchanging ideas, and interacting with your fellow arts-minded Beijinger. This is a good idea. It is a really beautiful hutong courtyard space. Really a nice and warm bar. Perfect for summer drunks.
Now lets get some wacko up in there banging a contact microphone on a frying pan and screaming into a slew of distortion pedals.
Yes, this is all well and good but what about the drinks: The drinks menu has been buffed up a bit to go with the new lease on life for The Other Place. A round-up of the usual craft beers are on offer, as well as 15rmb for Harbin, 25rmb for Hoegaarden, 30rmb for Franziskaner. They just got draft beer, 35rmb for a glass of Keizerrijk Van Bree -- "Kay Veeb" on the streets. Healthy whiskey selections with top shelf single-malts at 40rmb a glass.
If you're looking for a coffee during the day, they're offering standard espresso and Americanos for 15rmb a cup.
The Other Place is at 1 Langjia Hutong, right off of Beiluguoxiang. They're open every day from noon until the last person leaves. 2am-ish. Their music programming kicks off with next weekend's Sinotronics Launch party.