Takes a Village

novbarHug Pub

The spirit of entrepreneurship that exists in this country has, by most accounts, never been stronger. While hobbies are few and far between in Dongguan, owning a retail shop, coffee house or pub is the best way imaginable for locals to spend their spare time.

The result is that we expats with our favorite pastime—drinking—have more options for watering holes than the Serengeti in the rainy season. So as the rain falls, the underbelly of First International begins to sprout new life. A year before, anyone strolling through the area may have felt separated from their tribe and civilization due to the low occupancy of store space, but now, along with other stores opening, a group of friends has taken three storefronts to create their own happening spot.

Along with their pals, who are running a convenience store and a fixed gear bike shop, the Hug Pub is hoping for some increased foot traffic. The place is small, but relaxed with a nice hostel style décor and alternative feel, that should attract the poets and philosophers of Nancheng.

Following a very bright LED sign that could attract bar flies from all the way across town, the bar has spilled into the First International breezeway with a small stage, some tables and some nice ambient lights. There is music every night, but Annie Law, the bar’s co-owner wanted to be sure that it was known that the girls all like the long-hair musician she has hired to play music six nights a week.

Open from 8 p.m. until late, sometimes 4 in the morning, the place, while hit or miss with the crowd, can often have a few groups of people listening to music, playing games and every once in a while taking a moment to check out the bike stunts being performed next door. This is what Ms. Law likes to call Chinese style with foreign booze.

Co-owner Seven Chen, said “We wanted to open a coffee house, but changed our minds. The original name was He Ge Kafai (Drink a Coffee), so we named [the bar] Hug Pub.” The innovative spirit gives the place nice energy, and Law said there are plans for expansion in the future.

Address: Building F, First International, No. 200, Hongfu Rd., Nancheng 中文: 南城区鸿福路200号第一国际F座

Category Bar Reviews