by Paul Bacon
Rotherham, United Kingdom
October 2, 2006
Despite being located in the centre of the embassy district and having an imposing price-range, Maggies manages to be one of the seediest joints in all of Beijing. The clientele is divided pretty much straight down the middle with half being well-off western men and the others being Chinese and Mongolian prostitutes.
Because Maggies makes very little effort in hiding its disreputable raison d’etre, it is not the ideal place to go for a quiet beer. I generally head in there with friends from out of town for something of a rather childish novelty value. On most of these occasions I have felt like a naughty school boy, trying my best to look inconspicuous whilst feeling a touch ashamed and embarrassed to be in there. Most of the time I have spent inside Maggies has been taken up by looking at the floor and avoiding the gazes of its female ‘custom’.
Moving away from Maggie’s seedy underbelly, the place is actually very nice. There is a large dancefloor, a huge bar at which to perch one’s self and several large comfortable coaches around the place. Beers are a pricey 30rmb unfortunately.
The whole problem is though, that it is very difficult to move away from the seedy underbelly. At the bar you can perch on a stool, but the odds are there will be a hooker perched on the next one. The dancefloor is often crowded and pumping, but crowded with ladies of the night and the majority of coaches have hookers draped on them. Not the best place for a few drinks with friend’s and certainly not great for a conventional type of date.
From journal Tender is the Beijing Night