Travel Report: Lennon Bar – Qingdao, China.
August 2009. I remember reading about Lennon Bar long before S and I had even arrived in Qingdao on our great summer China trip of 2009. I think it may have been Lonely Planet that tipped me off to the city’s Beatles themed bar with an in-house live band treating customers to fab four songs. Finding it was a bit of a nightmare, especially as neither S nor I had a smartphone in those days or indeed any kind of GPS to work with. Tucked away in a quiet, poorly-lit side street just across from Qingdao Eye Hospital, when we finally found the place I initially thought it was closed. But then, approaching the door of the gloomy exterior, I heard the muffled vocals of One After 909 and knew we’d hit the jackpot!
August 2009. Lennon Bar was everything I’d hoped it would be: stuffed with Beatles memorabilia and audibly rocking under the stewardship of the house band. I’ll never forget that Filipino trio: Paul Ramon, Georgie Harry’s Son and Bingo. They were really tight, switching effortlessly between tracks like Eleanor Rigby and Fixing A Hole.
August 2009. Lennon Bar’s owner was a Chinese man called Steven. He was exceptionally friendly, treating us to a complimentary round of beers and telling us about his life as a keen sailor and traveller. He’d even been to see all the Beatles sites in Liverpool first hand.
August 2009. The band were an impossibly friendly bunch and made sure to come and introduce themselves during the interval. When I told Bingo that Don’t Let Me Down was one of my favourite Beatles tunes (well, more of a Lennon number really) they insisted that I come up onstage to sing it with them. Getting to perform in front of a live audience backed by such a talented band was a memory that will stay with me forever. Magical stuff.!
August 2009. With the passing of the years I’ve often wondered if Lennon Bar is still open. I feared for it a little as I got the impression that Steven ran the whole thing as a passion rather than a business, god bless him. Honestly I have no idea if it’s still going as the last TripAdvisor review was back in April 2017 and its Facebook page is dead. If you wanna see if the old joint is still rolling, Lennon bar was/is located at 20 Zhuhai Road. If any of that old Lennon Bar crew ever stumble upon this article, thank you so much for that amazing evening all those years ago!
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