I think the four bewildered octogenarians on the terrace thought this was a cafe. It's got a garden-mansiony look. Despite plenty of floor-to-ceiling windows and an entire second story that's open to the elements, it's very much a club. Glass cabinets full of weirdly-shaped cognac bottles, neon piping and disco lights, and a trash can beside every table. A two-person act on the stage giving it their all for a crowd of eight patrons. Ten year old Top 40 tracks playing loud enough to induce childbirth in a blue whale.
Drinks are exclusively bottle-deal-io or racks of thirty-some shots, going for like 158rmb a set. The booze is vaguely Chinese. A bottle of meijiu, which tasted like juice, comes with those dried plum candies. Ermapub fell through a wormhole from an alternate timeline where Chinese booze had enough youth appeal to sustain the traditional tavern. Next to the fruit plates and fried oysters, they'll serve noodles, lotus root, morsels of meat and peanuts in little white porcelain bowls. Makes you feel like a Tang poet, riffing on Du Fu's latest mixtape with your buds at the local boozer.
The skewers had a lovely mala bite to them, but the selection was distressingly limited. Two options. Two. King Zhou of Shang would not be pleased.
So yeah, it's a third-tier city club lounge. But a nice one? It's endearing. It got me nostalgic for student days, getting violently ill off fake booze at clubs with names like Darling Kiss and Top Life Show. Back when I didn't overthink every fucking venue I went to. Let's say it's endearing. "Just enjoy the night." Thanks Ermapub, I think I will!