the den

Iconic Beijing Expat Bar The Den Saved At the Last Minute

Denizens forces to seek libation elsewhere

the den

Update: The Den has apparently been saved at the last minute. The Beijinger reports:

“We’ll be here tomorrow. We’ll be here forever!” said a smiling bar manager Lisa Zhuang Monday night. A smattering of customers were in attendance around 9pm, some watching a replay of the Green Bay Packers vs. Denver Broncos NFL game. It seemed a surprisingly low turnout considering the outpouring of comments that filled the Beijinger‘s Facebook page, lamenting what appeared to be the end, announced Sunday night.

Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation stated that while the bar was set to be shuttered, negotiations with the bar’s landlord to extend its lease were successful at reaching an accord to keep the place open and running as normal, at least for the foreseeable future.

Thanks to @peteriveson for letting us know. A Beijing institution clings to life for a little while longer yet.

Original story:

After 17 years, longtime favorite expat drinking establishment The Den in Beijing closed its doors indefinitely yesterday.

The Beijinger reported the news citing a WeChat post written by Beijing Devils Rugby group chairman Zach Fanders yesterday, who said:

Sad news … The Den is closing. No one is completely sure for how long. I spoke to [long-time head waitress] Lisa and it will close tomorrow [Monday]. Decisions will be made in the new year, maybe come back as is, renovate, return as something different, sell, or keep closed, etc. If available, head to The Den for a final drink.

The Den was formerly the official bar for the Beijing Devils.

Rumors of the bar’s closing had first appeared two weeks ago.

The Den had endeared itself to its loyal customer base by offering daily promotions and service throughout the year. The bar was open 24 hours everyday (aside from exceptions like Spring Festival), prompting one travel blog to claim The Den to be an ideal place to beat your jet lag, no matter where you arrived from. Due to its lack of a closing time, The Den had been synonymous with late-night revelry in Beijing.

The Den was also well known in the Beijing bar scene for a generous happy hour that lasted from 5pm-10pm that also included half-price on pizzas, and for offering a full menu anytime during the day.

Even though the bar scene in Beijing has been rough with the economic slowdown and new competition, Sanlitun bars can look to increase its patronage with the opening of a planned subway station in the near future.

Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor