#12 is going downhill, fast.

Joined: Feb 06, 2017
Posts: 2

Let me start off by saying I have been a huge fan of GLB since moving to the city in 2014. I love their beer, with the Little General and Explorer General IPAs being among my favorites on tap in Beijing. I remember going to the #12 location when I first moved here and being impressed by the service and the burgers on offer. It was always crowded, but had a good vibe with a nice clientele.

My, how the mighty have fallen. The standards at #12 have seriously gone into the crapper. The burgers and fries are now nothing short of a joke. The fries are below McDonalds-level quality, and even the sweet potato fries (how on earth one can make those taste bland is beyond me) are just “meh” and often undercooked. The burgers are also quite sad, boasting tiny, grey, fast-food quality meat patties, no inventive ingredients or options on offer, and dripping with grease. The double cheeseburger is the size of a single patty burger at competing restaurants.

Poor food options could be easily excused due to the excellent beer on offer, if it weren't for the other, much larger problem of the clientele at #12. The location has apparently tapped into the dirt-bag, English-training center expat demographic in Beijing. If you, like me, are not a part of this demographic, but work in an office from Monday-Friday and like to go out to have a beer after work on a weekday evening, then you are in for a not-so pleasant surprise in 2017 at GLB #12. Your quiet Monday evening is the start of the weekend to some group of idiotic unlicensed English teachers working illegally on tourist visas, with no real reason to be here and nothing to lose. Loud, obnoxious, screaming, breaking glasses, you name it. The immature behaviors that collectively showcase the worst of the expat community in Beijing are all on display at GLB #12.

Thankfully, and the only reason I have given GLB two stars overall, the #45 location has much better food on offer and, being close to the embassy district, attracts a much more subdued and pleasant clientele. I quite like some of the pizza there, which has improved greatly since that location launched in the summer of 2015. The service is also much better at that location, likely the result of a smaller, more manageable space. Even though I live 15-20 minutes walking distance from #12, I find myself hopping over to #45 more and more often due to the overall more pleasant and relaxing experience.

I will always find myself coming back to GLB simply because of the beer. But I also find myself branching out to other gastropub options in Beijing now. Places like Jing A and Slowboat may not be able to match the quality of their brews (just yet, although Jing A does boast some excellent seasonals and collabs) but both have crafted a better experience overall with their respective Sanlitun locations. I hope the owners of GLB can get things under control at #12. Even in a saturated market like Beijing, it would be great to have it as a viable option for dinner and drinks again.

Isn't this review more about your apparent frustrations and disdain for English teachers, rather than GLB itself? Don't worry, it'll be ok. Just breathe in, breathe out

I always hate it when the people in the booth next to me don't have proper working papers

Books by current and former Beijinger staffers


Absolutely not. I have no problem with English teachers, per se. I am just expressing my dissatisfaction with a particular set who come to places like GLB and act like loud, immature, drunken fools. They are, of course, everywhere in this city. But GLB # 12 seems to have a higher per capita concentration of them. *biggrin*

If you don't have a Z on your visa, please don't talk to me, LOL

Nothing to do with their working papers, everything to do with the behavior of people who are in China without proper working visas and, as a result, have low paying jobs, nothing really tying them to China, and thus nothing to lose from acting like idiots. If I am being unreasonable, apologies. Maybe I am indeed tired of having pint glasses dropped and broken at my feet when sharing a table with a loud, obnoxious group of low-wage glorified babysitters. I hear the government is starting to really crack down on these elements though, raiding training centers and deporting people working illegally. Good news.

Actually in my experience there's far more high flyers withouth working papers than English teachers.

I see where you're coming from with the rant but I think the connection to one's working permit status is tenuous at best


Books by current and former Beijinger staffers


OMG you are incredibly pathetic! Your is a rant against foreigners rather than a objective review of GLB. I pity you honestly, i never met you but I am confident to say that you are just one of those pathetic chinese that have been studying/living abroad for a while and now feel superiors to everyone!

You are probably just pissed off, because your last gf (that come to you, only after you bought her last LV handbag) dump you for one of those "unlicensed english teacher", your main responsability during your "daily office work" is following around like a doggie your beloved 老板.

Please be aware that "unlicensed english teachers" are working here illagally because the your government doesnt know how to handle licenses and as always, few chinese are taking adavtange of the situation! Did you had the chance, just for cuoriosity to check the average salary for a english teacher/professor in the chinese public university? it's almost a joke, right? Why a very educated, professional individual from any native english speaking countries should come here? Exactly, for no reasons! they simply dont come here! Only person that want to have a "second chance" or person without experience come here, or people that simply want to be in China, despite pollution, corruptions and lies! Believe me, you should start kissing where those "unlicensed english teacher" walk!

I go in #12 maybe once a fortnight, and in my experience it doesn't resemble the description above. Often I find we're sat next to a group of nice older Europeans, or an American guy with a Chinese girlfriend/wife minding their own business. If anyone is noisy and obnoxious in there, it's the occasional group of rowdy Chinese (and I notice signs have been put up to that effect in Chinese - no shouting, no puking etc - in the booths).

But then, this is a bar after all, some rowdiness is to be expected, especially when you're serving beers in the 6-8% range. Maybe OP would be happier if he found a quiet coffee shop that also serves beer (there are plenty).

Also, it does seem like a personal rant about English teachers - when some of the most obnoxious expat behaviour I've seen in 6 years China is by no means restricted to backpacking English teachers.

What do you expect GLB to do? Start filtering people at the door based on occupation?

*NB I am not an English teacher either.

That's actually a fantastic idea. GLB, please take note of this, and start the at the door filtering system, asap!!

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