Written by Tim King

Tired of beer supermarkets? I have good news for you. Summer has left us, quick as it came, and the recent blight of Mototo clones may be going out with it.
Bright Bar, which lies just south of the East Gate on the Ring Road, marks a return to the more traditional bar setting. You’ll know it by the fount of blue and pink lights spilling from its entrance, but filtered lights don’t do much for illuminating the interior. Like most bars, it’s dim inside, creating what I assume is an unintentional contrast with its name. Once your eyes adjust, you’ll find a lot of familiar elements inside: a perimeter of booths surrounding a smattering of small tables, with a tiny stage for lounge singers in the in the corner.
Bottles of beer are plentiful here, at about average prices, but are thankfully not the only thing on their drink menu, which is only in Chinese. That’s fine for me, because I’m fluent in booze, but may be tougher for other expats out there. In a pinch, just point at something in their fridge or behind the bar. In addition, the eager-to-please staff is there for more than opening bottles and clearing them when emptied, and I can’t stress how great it is to be served again.
After a summer spent in self-service bars, picking random bottles of imported beer from a wall of refrigerators, it’s nice to see that service is becoming a part of the Xi’an bar equation again. The lonely East Gate location may make it a tough sell, but if you live in those parts or are just in the area and looking for a drink that you don’t need to go all the way downtown for, Bright Bar’s got what you’re looking for.
Pros: Service; a diverse enough menu that’s not overwhelming; an owner with a Polaroid camera who wants your picture on her wall—just for funsies
Cons: Chinese menu; loud performers
Avg. price per drink: 20-40RMB
Address:Dong Yu Feng She, South of Huang Cheng East Road
( 环城东路南段东屿枫舍烁酒吧 )
Open Hours:7:00pm-2:30am