Unexpectedly situated in an old Taoist temple in downtown Beijing, bar/project space hybrid Za Jia is surprising and exciting. Described as a ‘lab’ by its three young founders, Za Jia is already renowned for being experimental, from the various performance artists and contemporary musicians that grace the stage to its rare selection of spirits behind the bar. Here, you may find yourself sampling Mongolian vodkas, fruit-infused Chinese liquors or handmade dumplings whilst taking in a rotating art exhibition; you’ll never experience the same thing twice at Za Jia.
The chosen decor pays homage to the history of the building and original architectural features have been preserved, but ancient collides with modern as the venue is kitted out with projectors, screens and a sound system to cater for exhibitions from multi-media artists. Being an incubator for the creations of such cultural innovators makes Za Jia a Mecca for the capital’s quirky, progressive crowd – an exciting hangout with entertainment to rival all other bars in Beijing.