Article By Mike Leaner
Inside of Everyday convenience store, Block A, Jinqiao International Plaza, Keji Road.
(029) 8822 8057
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 80RMB
PROS: A quartet of greats—great food, great drinks, great service and great atmosphere
CONS: I found some cocktails were a mite sweet, and you can rack up a hefty bill very fast if you’re not careful (or rich)
Take 5’s flagship location at Zhuque Gate is a charming place that screams “classy” at the top of its lungs, from every leather couch and hardwood furnishing. I had the pleasure of doing the review of that place a few years ago, and I’m back to say that I lied. It’s a great bar, but it’s not as Boardwalk Empire as I’d stated. Their new place in Gaoxin? I promise I’m not lying this time, it’s, like, straight out of Boardwalk Empire
Take 5’s latest and greatest bar is a speakeasy, in the truest sense of that word. If you didn’t know it was there, you’d probably just buy a bottle of water and a pack of cigarettes at the Everyday convenience store it hides behind. No, seriously. It’s hidden inside a fully-functioning convenience store. The cashier is in on the game though, so if you can’t find the hidden door in the back, he’ll point you in the right direction. When you make it inside, you’ll find a spacious, two-floor barroom that oozes Prohibition-era atmosphere. The menus are even designed to look like old-timey newspapers. The cocktails are also named to evoke that Mafioso-tinged era—from “Leaving Las Vegas” to “Chicago”.
Speaking of the cocktails, you’ll have your pick of liquor. There are roughly twenty signature cocktails to choose from,
alongside a healthy selection of whisky and the like, but if you’re more the type to have a single-mixer, a Cuba Libre or a G&T is in the cards as well. To accompany your drinks, you can choose a snack from the small menu of appetizers and tapas. Tasty as the food is, it doesn’t fit the theme super well. Meaning that, while I enjoyed every delectable bit they put in front of me, I don’t think Al Capone ever ate a curry ball. So it goes.
All-in-all, while I was a fan of the Take 5 brand from the word go, this new speakeasy is poised to become my new favorite bar in all of Xi’an. You’ll pay for the quality, sure. But I am a sucker for atmosphere, I just love how cool I feel sitting at the bar in a fancy place hidden in a convenience store—and having delicious food and drinks to back it up makes it all the better.
Mike Leaner likes to get dirty but not for free. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org