Speakeasy Alive & Well in Nanjing Factory

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The Nanjinger so happened to be dining at trendy new downtown Western restaurant Herb&Spice, when we were invited to take a look at a whisky bar upstairs. Slightly confused, as we had not seen any evidence of such, we none-the-less excitedly agreed and were led past the bathroom to a small hallway. With the push of a button, the wall opened up, in true 007 style.

So up we went with a little skip in our step; who would not succumb to the allure of secrecy and the illusion of importance? We eeeked with excitement when, up the dimly lit stairs, we were led into the Bible Club. Occupying the second and third floor of that which used to be an old Nanjing factory, the club is spacious, classy and jazzy; just oozing with cool. Large leather sofas comfort people who have settled in for the duration, with their short drinks and chips.

The very attractive bar sits below a vintage sign that reads THEATRE. Underneath, hundreds of lit-up bottles of booze sit temptingly upon shelves. Over to one’s right, the words AGAINST PROHIBITION deck the wall above a tiny stage, upon which Lindy-hop dancers perform hourly.

We were snapped back to reality, however, upon browsing the menu. Our stomachs churned and our jaws dropped; secrecy and exclusivity certainly comes at a price; the Bible Club offering a range of superior cocktails, the likes of which Gatsby himself would be proud. Despite costing twice the average hourly wage, they were delicious; coriander, egg white, basil and gin certainly made for fireworks in our mouths.

At 9pm, the lights dimmed, the stage lit up and on came our Lindy-hop entertainment. Dancers Jean and Benny swung their way about the stage, teleporting us into another period; Republican Nanjing!

Speaking with The Nanjinger, after their 10-minute performance, Jean told us she hails from Sichuan and “absolutely loves Lindy-hop”. Benny, from Shenzhen, has been dancing Lindy-hop for over 2 years. Hosting a Lindy-hop dance club at Laomendong every week, he says, “Everyone is invited! It’s so much fun”.

Jean and Benny perform at the Bible Club for around 10 minutes at 9, 10 and 11pm every Saturday and Sunday. So if you fancy some prohibition play, get yourself down there because it sure is out of this era.

The Bible Club is located at 190 Laifeng Jie (opposite Taoyuan community) 来凤街190号(桃源人家对面)
*Remember; go through the restaurant Herb&Spice and head past the toilets (on your right, the kitchen to your left) and push the white button. Do NOT tell anyone who sent you.

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Renée Gray Beaumont
As an Australian journalist living in Nanjing for many years, Renée Gray Beaumont has a background in research, print and online publishing, taking great pleasure in discovering more about Nanjing with every article. 作为在南京居住多年的澳大利亚新闻工作者,Renee Gray Beaumont 有着调研以及印刷品和线上出版物的工作背景。她总是乐于在每篇文章里发现关于南京的内容。