Susan Johnson (more chengdu)|
88 Youth Zone, with appealing areas both indoors and outdoors, is one of the more architecturally interesting spaces in the city. The place has only been open a couple of months but is attracting folks who come to sit and meet, play, drink coffee, or have a snack. We feel like we have walked into the rest area of a high-end shopping centre or a modern art museum. There is also a foosball table, pool, a dart board, and an area for board games. Thanks to large movable panels, the second level is completely customizable into a large open space for meetings and conferences, or screened off private areas. As part of Youth Zone's mission to serve youth and creativity, there are plans to offer workshops and lectures by experts to young people free of charge in the space.
Each seating area has its own personality and the space also acts as an interactive showroom for locally produced wooden furniture with clean modern design. The effect manages to be calming and harmonious rather than intrusive and jarring, making us feel like creative ideas could easily flow here. The space is within walking distance of Chunxi Road and seems popular among not only young people but professionals in the area. The smoky atmosphere that often cloaks local coffee houses gets thicker as the evening wears on.
The coffee comes courtesy of mocoway, which has a few more locations in town. There is a coffee master that comes in to roast fresh beans a couple of times a week and the brew has quite a bit of character. Prices are consistent with other high-end coffee shops in town. We enjoyed a few of the other drinks and, although the kitchen didn't yet have the gas hooked up when we visited, they were turning out snacks such as fries and chicken nuggets. The main reason to come is the environment, however. The space, like the twenty-somethings to whom the place is dedicated, is in its youth and its future could go in many directions, but we see a lot of promise here.