Chinatown gets the retro beer bar it's been waiting for.
Soi Nana, the increasingly hip strip of shop-houses on the fringes of Chinatown, has welcomed a craft beer bar that lives up to its retro surroundings.
All dark woods, vintage signage and spare lighting, Pijiu Bar looks remarkably like an old-school Chinese hotel lobby—albeit one that swings to the sounds of upbeat piano jazz. A big glass window at the front lets you survey the street scene while downing an eclectic range of brews.
The bar counts past and present management of craft beer importer Beervana among its partners, which results in beer prices just a tad south of what you usually pay.
There are five rotating taps, which on our visit included Deschutes' Fresh Squeezed IPA, the super-refreshing Los Locos Mexican lager and Tuatara Weiz Guy Hefeweizen (priced B260-290/500ml or from B200 during 6-8:30pm happy hours).
A packed fridge showcases by far the most diverse selection of bottles in this neck of the woods, from local names like Happy New Beer (from B220) to esoteric offerings like Founders' Lizard of Koz (a rich stout that's a dessert-like mix of blueberries, chocolate and vanilla aged in bourbon barrels, B750 for 750ml).
Drinking snacks are in the works—think Chinese cold cut platters, Sichuan chicken knuckles and perhaps even some dried goat meat—while the upstairs room that's reached by a narrow wooden staircase will soon launch as a more private dining space. Carl Dixon