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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Chinese Franchise Concept Could be Bigger than Hooters

I try to buy American, but let's face it: in today's world it is impossible to avoid products made in China. Add to it the fact that many of the beverages I write about come from around the globe and I tend to have a free trade mentality. Now comes word of a new bar concept from China that could take a serious bite (or gouge) out of the likes of TGI Fridays and Bennigan's.

According to the official state sanctioned China Daily newspaper, a new bar in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing allows customers to beat on employees -- for a price. The Rising Sun Anger Release Bar allows customers to smack around waiters and other staff, plus smash glasses, scream, shout and generally do what some Americans do every weekend. However, customers at the Rising Sun Anger Release Bar don't have to worry about retribution from some bouncer who has anger management issues of their own or taking a ride in the back of police cruiser.

According to China Daily, the bar employs about 20 men who have agreed to be punching bags for angry customers. The staff receives physical training and are given protective gear. Here's the part where it gets a little weird and I expect angry comments: the 20 employees will dress up like a boss, a woman or in other costumes so customers can feel more like they are taking their aggression out on someone they know. If that doesn't work, customers can also receive psychological counseling -- I'm sure from the bartenders, just like bars in America! Before you start thinking this place is a hangout for abusive husbands or former Tour de France riders jacked up on testosterone, owner Wu Gong, 29, says the bar is very popular with women working in karaoke bars and massage parlors.

Let me try to guess what you're thinking: "So, how much does it cost to open a can of whoop ass on that prick of a boss/ex-boyfriend/jerk who still owes me $100?" The Rising Sun Anger Release Bar charges 50 to 300 Chinese Yuan ($6.27 to $37.63) depending on how much anger you plan to release.

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