5 Years of 2Kolegas in Beijing: World Model of the Perfect Music Bar.

ah.. 2 kolegas! It’s funny how time goes by and how you’ve grown managed to stay the same! An unpretentious and friendly place where people go in and just bond with like-minded folks debating life’s mysteries until the wee hours of the morning!
Over the past year I spent haunting down music venues all over Beijing, 2 Kolegas slowly started at the back row and climbed all the way up to the top and it is without contest my favorite dive music bar in this city…bar none!

While I’m not even sure as to when was the first time i ended up there, I can remember the beginning of the love story at last year’s Tag Team Christmas Shindig! I had spent the evening hopping from one music venue to the next catching shows and made it there around midnight. The bands were hanging out chatting with concert goers, people were chatting in the cold sharing beers and smokes and every one was generally having a great time. Your Helen Feng hanging out with Zhang Si’an or Gao Feng, Jaime Welton picking on Mao Mao, Wu Kejia drinking whiskey with his Ningxia crew.. just another day in the music dive!

As the months went by, I ended up there more and more often, even on nights when there were no shows, hanging out with Tofu, Gao Feng and sometimes Liu Mai… it’s just a joy! On nights when it’s not, to quote Gary Temple, ndeed. And where else can you talk with your barman in Chinese, English, French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese—as you can at 2 Kolegas?

Now, I can keep gloating about the place all day but i figured it’s better to hear what some other people had to say about 2 Kolegas when I asked them to describe it in one sentence or less:

Ruby, my favorite partner in crime:
Best summer music venue, it’s got a great mini-festival feel sitting on the grass listening to bands

Zhang Si’an: The amazing insurance salesmen, The incredible JSB..
2 Kolegas is one of my favorite places in Beijing. I like the people there, the atmosphere and the diversity of music you can hear. Long live the 2 Kolegas

Kris Liu (Bad Apple):
Awesome bands, strong drinks and chuan’r. What else do you want from a bar?

Jackson Garland (RandomK(e) , The Redbucks )
Being at 2 Kolegas is like going to the best underground party you can imagine in your friend’s parent’s house basement that goes until 5 a.m. and has a great music that all the neighbors hate.

Miss S:
I would say it’s like the way music venues used to be: you’re gonna get dirty wet feet and drunk without spending much and you’ll have a ball

Jaime Welton ( Black Cat Bone, Bad Mamasan )
2 Kolegas is THE Oasis for the thirsty artist, Mecca of Freedom for the insane, and the world model of the perfect music bar.

One thing you can be sure of is that is gonna be a gimmick-free party unlike most anniversary events which just aim to bring in more cash.. no one will enjoy this weekend as much as the 两个好朋友 and Tofu! Come and have a blast, bring a few friends and just be zen…. you know they’re gonna be!

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2 Responses

  1. Alex says:

    Overall, I’m pretty much in agreement with your gushing over 两个好朋友酒吧. Consistent live music booking,with a surreal atmosphere (at the Drive-In). Used to enjoy the free Tuesday night Yan Jun-curated experimental nights, Waterland Kwanyin, although I understand there is a cover these days. However, there area two major problems with the venue:

    1. There is no insulation, and the heating unit is always either broken or too small for the size of venue. Result: 2 Kolegas is freezing cold in the winter. Remember your gloves.

    2. The bathroom is a terrible mess and strong odors of raw sewage abound throughout the front quarters of the bar during the hot summer months.

    3. They should never have lost the chuan’r seller that did business with his family lakeside. It was great being able to sneak away from the venue during a crummy act and drink 2RMB big bottles of Tsingtao and eat 1RMB chuan’r by the lake with a date.

  2. Beijing Daze says:

    Hi Alex,

    Thanks for the comments mate, much appreciated! I must beg to differ with you on a few point though:

    1- There is insulation! I spent most of the winter going to a gig/week on average at 2 Kolegas and if anything, it was too freaking hot! most times, I ended up removing my jacket and leaving it behind the bar for safekeeping. I believe they fixed things up with the renovation/expansion 2 years ago.

    2- No arguments here! The bathroom situation is dreary over there but it’s better that it used to be with both a regular bathroom and a urinal. That said, the regular bathroom got so nasty this saturday that a lady decided to go into the urinal for her business

    3- The Chuan’r seller is there and they cost 2rmb these days.. I don’t remember a lake in the area so that must have been before my time.

    Cheers mate