When we first arrived in Wuhan we were trying to figure out where foreigners go for a drink. Of course, there are heaps of bars & cafes around –but sometimes, after a week or two of no western contact –you feel like meeting people with whom you can have an actual conversation! So where do foreign people go for a drink these days?
Chloé Bar À Vins, Hankou. This is by far the nicest, stylish wine bar around – perhaps even the only exclusive wine bar around! Opened at the beginning of 2013 in the former Russian Concession, this beautifully French-themed renovated building is a great place to chill over a glass or bottle of wine. Staff speak English, French & Chinese. Open until 1am Tues-Sun. Closed Mondays. Special “French Fridays” offer 30% discount off all bottles of French wine plus plenty of tasty bar snacks. Address: 145 Poyang Street, near the corner of Li Huang Pi Road- one block behind Marco Polo Hotel, Hankou Say: “Hànkǒu, Poyangjie -yi bai si shi wu hào”. Show: 汉口鄱阳街145号
Brussels Beer Garden, Hankou. This is a cosy narrow “bar–bistro-café-pub” with a lake view garden terrace – run by a Belgium called David. David is also one of the founders of the Aids charity which WOW supports Located beside the North-West lake in Hankou it’s within walking distance from Novotel, Jin Jiang International and a short taxi ride from the Shangri-La, New-World, Ramada (Hankou) & Azia Hotels. It has a regular loyal expat following and is renown for it’s range of beers and relaxed atmosphere.This is a good place where the mature adult/ couple/group wanting a quiet drink, some bar food and maybe a chat, can chill. Probably the closest thing to “your local” you’ll get in Hankou. http://www.brusselsbg.com/
Address: Hankou, XiBeiHu Lu 8-8, Wan Hao Guo Ji
Say: ” Hankou, Xibeihu Lu, Buluseer Pijiuleyuan”
Javair, Hankou. This is a mellow hangout – nestled on a side street right in the neon nightclub central of Hankou; Yanjiang Ave (Soho, Muse, Return 97 etc). Open all day (and some of the night too!) between 10am – 2am. Serves simple food and good reasonably priced drinks. Currently undergoing some renovations but still worth a visit.
Address: Hankou, 7 TianJin Road (on a side street next to the exit of the tunnel).
Say:“Hankou, Tian Jin Lu Qi Hao (Kao Jin Sui Dao Chu Kou)- Zhua Wa Kong Qi ”
Show: 爪哇空气 – 汉口天津路7号
The Toucan Irish Bar, Hanyang. The Toucan Irish Bar in the Holiday Inn Riverside, and has all the sport pub-like paraphernalia such as a pool table, table soccer table and big screens for the games. They also have a wide range of traditional Irish food such as Guinness pie and Cornish pasties and, of course, the famous Guinness beer on draft. Both the Toucan and Brussels are favorite expat hangouts when the games are on. Similarly to Brussels -this is a rather relaxed place where you’d go to if you want to shoot a game of pool, have some beers and watch the game.
Address: Holiday Inn Riverside, No.88 Xi Ma Chang Street, Hanyang
Say: “Hànyáng qū xǐ mǎ zhǎng jiē 88 hào (wǔhàn qíng chuān jiàrì jiǔdiàn yī lóu hòu cè)”
Hot & Crazy Sugar Daddy & York Bar, Hankou. Surprisingly popular among foreign students, teachers and young business expats. Although located right next to a big main road, the most popular place to sit is outside! Very convenient to all the Hankou nightspots- Soho, Muse, Jazz & Blues Bar, just around the corner from Chloe’s, and walking distance to Javiers – good place to chill and drink beer. Address: 160 Yanjiang Avenue, Jiang’an (beside Marco Polo Hotel) Say: Hànkǒu yanjiang dàdào 160 hào Show: 汉市江岸区沿江大道160号
Blue Sky Café, Hankou. This place is more of a bar than a pub, and often has live music in the weekends. They also hold regular holiday themed parties such as for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Xmas…etc. It’s conveniently located within walking distance from Jin Jiang International Hotel, and a short taxi rode from Shangri-La, New World, Novotel etc, and probably due to it’s locality and obviousness it seems to be rather popular with Western business men http://www.bluesky-cafe.com/
Address: Hankou, Jianshe Ave 717
Say: “Hànkǒu jiànshè dàdào 717 hào (xìn hé dàshà duìmiàn)” Show: 汉口建设大道717号（信合大厦对面）
Return 97 & Very Return Club, Hankou. Located on the banks of the Yangtze, Return 97 is a massive establishment with a night club on the first floor (called Return 97) and a “Wine Bar’ on the second floor (called Very Return). This is a good bar to visit when there’s a group of you – but it’s not really the cozy couples sort of place, although on the tables they do have the Chinese dice game to play with Conveniently located next to other night clubs if you’re wanting a big night out. Right outside is the nightclub Muse and just down the road is Sing & Song, KTV & Soho!
Address: Return 97 & Very Return Club (2nd F), The entrance of Jiangtan Park, Yanjiang Ave, Jiang’an District, Hankou
Say: “Fēicháng huíguī hóng jiǔbā，Hànkǒu jiāng tān Guàn Jǐng lóu èr lóu yánjiāng dàdào jiāng tān Gōngyuán zhèng Ménkǒu Rùkǒuchù”
Soho, Hankou. This seems to be the place where the young Chinese business people gather. Hardly the place to converse, but definitely a bar-watching sort of joint! Loud music -mainly R&B – and packed; be prepared to stand unless you have booked a table in advance (seats can be booked after 1400hrs each day). If you’re a foreigner you will for sure make some new friends here! Located next to the Marco Polo Hotel -so you can often see foreigners here- but due to the noise don’t expect to be able to make much conversation!
Address: Soho – No. 158 Lanling Road, Yanjiang Street, Jiang’an District, Wuhan
Say: “Sū hé jiǔbā-wǔhàn shì jiāng’àn qū hànkǒu yánjiāng dàdào 158 hào wǔhàn shídài guǎngchǎng”
Show: 苏荷酒吧－武汉市江岸区汉口 沿江大道158 号武汉时代广场
Vox Livehouse, Wuchang. Reknown as “The” venue for international musicians and bands. This is a particular favorite with the University and muso crowd. Holds regular performances and has a dance floor. Describes itself as “…not a cheesy Chinese Club… a real bar with good music and cool people…the center of Wuhans’ vibrant underground rock scene”. Usually charges a small entrance fee to gigs.http://voxwuhan.cn/
Address: 118 Lumo Road, Luxiang, Wuchang (next to the China Everbright Bank)
Say: ‘Wǔhàn shì hóngshān qū lǔ mó lù 117#guóguāngdàshà guāng dà yínháng páng”
Prison, Wuchang. The Wuhan Prison is a tiny bar around the corner from Vox which was opened by some Wuhanese punk/metal musicians with the intent of it being a place where the musicians playing at Vox could hang out after their gigs. It is a hive of expat activity and is often described in blogs and forums as a dive worth seeing!
Address: (Next to Vox) 1F, Guoguang Hotel, Luxiang Lumo Lu, Wuchang
Say: “Wǔhàn wǔchāng qū lǔ xiàng lǔ mó lù guóguāng bīnguǎn lóu xià”