Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Lucid Lounge – Guangzhou

Close to the Ramada Pearl River on Guangzhou Da Dao, you can find a small Canadian pub known as Lucid Lounge. Owned by a couple of friends who moved to China a few years ago it was intened to be a place where they could kick back with their mates to eat and drink, without having to splurge in other bars around the city. What is has now become is a haven for foreigners and locals alike to get together after work on a weekday or before clubbing on a weekend, for a few drinks and a light snack.

Although commonly known as Lucid Lounge, they now have a large sign on the front window that reads Strange Brew. It is not the first time I have been to a bar in this city that is known by one name and operates under another. It can get a bit confusing at times but once you ask around with the local foreigners they usually know what’s up.

The interior of the bar is not very large but it is quite cozy. There are a couple of hefty tables with plush velvet seating and also a long concrete counter that patrons have been reputed of climbing and dancing upon. Lucid Lounge also features a big projection TV where they air a variety of sporting events.

As Lucid is owned and managed by a Canadian, it is not surprising that the walls of the joint sport a variety of Canadian memorabilia ranging from ice hockey jerseys to empty bottles of Canadian liquor. The dim lighting and bright blue walls in the bar blend well with the cozy yet rustic atmosphere.

They also have a very well stocked bar and a wide range of shooters and cocktails to choose from on their menu. The prices of the drinks are very reasonable; in fact you can buy six shots for only 100 RMB. If Aaron or Shawn is behind the bar when you visit you are quite likely to receive healthy pouring of house specials as well. They are init for the fun, not the proceeds. And drunken patrons are happy patrons.

A unique feature at Lucid is its range of larger on tap. They are the only bar I know if in Guangzhou that serve De Konick Belgian Beer and Maisel’sWeisse German Draught. When you are bored of your same old Tiger of Heineken, it is always refreshing to get a change of flavor. The imported beers are also served in their traditional glasses.

In my opinion, the biggest selling point of Lucid Lounge is their burgers. The menu is not vast and they do not offer a range of meals to suite all pallets, but they make the best damn burgers I have had in Guangzhou. I find that many small establishments try to offer as much as they can on their menu’s rather than focus on one item and just get really good at it, this is where Lucid sets itself apart. A char grilled all beef patty neatly resting between 2 crispy focaccia (I think) buns.

There are at least 5 different combinations to choose form including Mexicalli, Wasabi, Mango Chutney, and some Hill Billy thing. They are off the hook!!! The unique choice of bun is what really makes all the difference to me.

For when you just wanna kick back and share some finger foods they can offer up this pretty darn tasty popcorn chicken. Also on the menu are other classic finger foods like chicken wings and nacho chips.

Lucid Lounge aka Strange Brew may not be the most lavish place you could hang out. You might even find the service a bit sluggish when the owners are not around, but the place has mad character. These mild imperfections are what make Lucid Lounge personable. This is a bar where you can go on your own and be sure to meet some people you can drink with. Recently they hosted an 80’s party which was off the hook as well. All the guests took their time to dress up like 80’s rockers and even enthusiastically participated in the air-guitar competition. Next month they are planning a 70’s theme party which should be equally awesome. Cold beer and warm burgers. Can you dig it?

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