Yixiu Bar 壹休酒吧

Article By Mike Gruedener

  • 300 west of Shun Cheng Xiang, South Gate. 南门近顺城巷西300米
  • (029) 8738 4881
  • 12:00pm – 2:30am
  • Average Price per Person /人均消费: 50RMB
  • PROS:Nice selection of beer at good prices and with great live music
  • CONS:No English speaking and the space is a little small

People like me tend to find our preferred local watering hole, and then we become fiercely loyal. That loyalty can be a catch-22, because many of my favorite places to grab a drink aren’t open before the sun goes down. I’ve been searching for somewhere that wasn’t a coffee shop chain to relax during the days I don’t want to hide away at home. I think I’ve found it with YiXiu (Ikkyu) Bar, a nice piece of prime real estate just along the inside of the wall west of South Gate.

I noticed their patio first; it’s a little on the small side, but has a nice vibe. Had I come during the day I might have chosen to sit under the full-length awning that will undoubtedly provide the perfect amount of sun and shade for those beautiful Xi’an afternoons. A wooden bar right at the entrance leads you to the counter where you can order and move on to your seats. The interior is dominated with wood and steel and gives a very clean feeling in every part of the bar. It was such a change from the normal bars I’d been to in Xi’an that it almost didn’t feel like a bar–it had more of a coffee shop feel. But that’s the beauty of it. It’s both coffee shop and bar.

A coffee shop during the day, it switches to bar mode like a Transformer at 8:30. They have quite a variety of coffee for sale and two large beer fridges in the back corner stocked with all the standard beers and a few I’ve never seen before. You can get a Hoegaarden or a Corona for 15RMB, but most of their beer is around 25RMB and their most expensive is 38RMB. They also sell FourLoco for 120RMB, but the only people I’ve ever known to by those are teenagers from my home state of California. Their coffee prices are similar, with nothing exceeding 35RMB. They are currently developing a few coffee cocktails to have on the menu as signature drinks and they should be ready by the beginning of June.

All of this was well and good, but what really got me sucked in was the singer. As I sat down I noticed a sunken area at the back of the bar where a fantastic singer was strumming at his guitar. And, unlike many of the bars I frequent, the volume on the music wasn’t over the top. I could sit and talk to my friend without having to raise my voice. Even though the bar is on the smaller side, there is quite a lot of seating, including two large leather sofas and a booth in the back corner.

In a turn of phrase, I would say that this bar has a split personality. However, as evidenced by the impending coffee cocktails, it embraces the split and finds the best of both worlds: coffee and beer in a one-stop shop for all of us who want sip some delicious coffee during the day and relax with an ice cold beer at night. What more could I ask for?

Mike is an Energizer bunny FOMO-ing at the mouth. He can be reached at reviews@xianease.com