Article By Mike Leaner
17, Liu Yuan, East of Huan Cheng South Road, Outside South Gate.
(029) 8787 1207
5:00pm – 4:00am
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 90RMB
PROS: Good execution of an old concept; cocktails!
CONS: Not for those looking for something new and different
Bottle shops might not be as prevalent as during their heyday, but they remain a staple of the Xi’an bar scene. The newest kid on the block is Freedom Bar, offering a familiar experience with a couple of twists.
You’ll find Freedom Bar in the plaza outside and just east of South Gate, just around the corner from Mototo and directly opposite Imagine Bar. A greeter will find you at the entrance and bring you to the bar proper, a cozy, tidy place with a wall of refrigerators. Sitting inside is fine, but if it’s not your speed or it’s a particularly nice night, that whole corridor you were led down is lined with tables ready for your behind to park in.
The big twist here is a dedicated cocktail maker stationed inside the actual store. He’s got a pretty deep menu, and everything I tried was lovely. His presence also has the fringe benefit of ready-made racks of shooters in the fridges next to the many beers they stock. While we’re on that, the beer selection is varied enough to get something you’ll enjoy, but not enough to introduce you into anything new or different. One might, not unfairly, say that it’s just the same stuff as other bars, but to me it felt more like an old pair of slippers—enjoyable for its comfort and lack of surprises; doubly so, because I actually liked the atmosphere a bit better than many of its more ramshackle competitors.
At the end of the day, there are really not too many ways a Xi’an bottle shop can innovate in 2018. However, Freedom is doing just enough to pump some much needed life into the format. It’s a good thing too—now you can bring your non-beer-drinker friends with you when you just want a quick drop. That’s what these kinds of places are best for: gathering good friends for good conversation in a quieter, more come-as-you-are place. In that respect, I would suppose that there is a bit of freedom to be found at Freedom.
Mike Leaner likes to get dirty but not for free. He can be reached at