Bar Without Patrons: Faith Music Pub


It’s Friday night and I’m sitting around the corner from my office on Dongcheng walking street, in a bar on Dongcheng walking street, watching a music video that is shot on Dongcheng walking street. Things are getting weird. In Chinese, the bar is called Faith Music Pub. The English adorning the façade says “Music Restaurant & Bar”. Inside it is neat. They have got those heavy duty concrete floors, and it looks like a small warehouse, though, slightly pimped up. On a Brooklyn street this place would look pretty fly, on Dongcheng walking street it looks pretty funny.

Despite six staff and only one customer, me, it takes ten minutes for anyone to take my order, a Heineken. Five minutes pass and I’m brought a bill, for 35 kwai, but no beer. I pay up and wait. Another five minutes pass and I am brought the beer, and a bag of nuts. Things are looking up. This being a music bar, it plays music. It skips between screechy Mandopop and soft rock. I don’t know why, but I like this place a lot. I want it to do well.

Faith Music Pub, like so many of the bars on the same street, suffers from having a lack of people drinking within its walls, and managers that are full of vim but don’t seem to quite know what they are doing. If the music were different and the bar were full it would work, but it isn’t and it doesn’t. Looking across at the empty stage, it is a pity there is no band playing on it. But wait. Glancing up at the giant TV screen, I can see a video of the same stage and there is a band playing on it; the lead singer is even hot. This place does not even need a band. They already have a pre-recorded gig of a band that played on the stage, once, a long, long time ago.

This place needs to be saved. All it needs is people and good music. I propose a flash mob. On a random Saturday night, fifty people should descend on Faith Music Pub to manically drink beer, bringing nothing with them but a USB loaded with a Nirvana album (Nevermind, Bleach… it doesn’t matter). This is all it will take. It is that simple. Have a little faith and make it happen.

Find the bar here.