What so many foreigners have missed in Huaqiao has been a place where the staff know you and speak your language. Where you can meet with your friends after work or on the weekend and order “the usual”. 11 Bar is a place that makes us feel at home, whether we came to China from the US, Europe or Australia.
Named after it’s location on metro line, 11 Bar is the only authentic bar in Huaqiao! It opened on December 2016 and is located right by Zhaofeng road, close to Huaqiao’s boarder with Shanghai. It welcomes foreigners and locals to enjoy delicious draft beer, quality cocktails and a great intimate atmosphere.
Quick geography and history lesson
Huaqiao is a city within a larger city called Kunshan. It is defined as an economic development zone with a steadily rising population of Chinese people and foreigners alike. The Chinese population is attracted by factory work and cheap rent with a relatively short commute to Shanghai. 90% of the foreigners are here because of Kang Chiao International School.
The area is constantly growing but still has a long way to go. Several years ago there was a surge of new businesses popping up. Unfortunately there weren’t enough people to keep all of them open. That is why today, some areas of Huaqiao resemble a ghost town. But this is quickly changing!
Why we love 11 Bar
After so many independently-run businesses failed, people became hesitant to try again. That is, until Tony decided to create the perfect hang out spot with an ideal location. He runs the bar as a hobby whenever he’s not at his full time job. More importantly, he is single handedly bridging the gap between locals and foreigners in Huaqiao.
If you’ve never been to a city like Huaqiao then you might not understand why we’re all so excited about this place. Coming from a city where bars and pubs litter every corner, it’s been hard to adjust to not having any at all. We’ve been hanging out and playing beer pong in grocery stores to compensate, but it’s just no the same.
Western-style drinks and service
11 Bar serves cocktails and draft beer, which are hard to find outside of Shanghai. The prices are great too, 30 RMB ($4.5) for a pint of draft Tiger beer and 35 RMB ($5) for most cocktails. If you get the munchies you can order some fried chicken or fish to enjoy with your beer.
Aside an extensive drink menu and friendly staff, there is also a great sound system, a flat screen TV and high speed internet. It’s a great place to watch sports, have a dance party or simply blast your favorite tunes all night long! What more can you ask for?
11 Bar might be one of the first places where foreigners can meet and get to know locals, but it most certainty won’t be the last. My next post will be about the Huaqiao Foreign Friends Association and their initiative to bring together locals and foreigners! Stay tuned.