Before it moved to New Town and rebooted as a Guangzhou craft beer bar, and before it launched its own Good Manners Brewery in a neighboring district, Rozz-Tox was a cutting-edge underground art venue and bar. One of 40 or so tenants who helped turn three floors of an old abandoned factory near Xiaogong Park into one of the city’s coolest (and most surreptitious) nightlife destinations, Rozz-Tox held court at the space, called Loft 345, for a decade.
It was kind of legendary, in fact, because the friendly guys running Rozz-Tox 2.0 say so. They also say that random Chinese and Western celebrities showed up from time to time. I hear one story about a certain disgraced actor who arrived with an entourage on his first visit and ended up trying to pick up the storyteller’s partner. Rebuked, he returned by himself on successive nights and quietly smoked joints in the corner, or so the story goes. The storyteller tells me that LeBron James popped into Rozz-Tox one night, too.
On this night, David Lynch’s monochromatic masterpiece Elephant Man beams soundless onto a projection screen in the back of the bar. The soundtrack, instead, is Mac DeMarco’s hazy lo-fi rock Salad Days, which the bartender plucks from one of six or seven crates of vinyl. It’s not exactly Wizard of Oz meets Dark Side of the Moon, but the unconscious pairing works strangely well.
On tap there are six beers from Good Manners Brewery—a saison, Belgian dubbel, and hoppy lager among them—three from Shenzhen’s E.T. Brewery, and a few unexpected absurdities, namely Founders’ Kentucky Breakfast Stout and Stone’s 2017 Mikhail imperial stout.
Who knows if 24 craft beer taps is enough to lure LeBron back next time he passes through Guangzhou. If you’re reading, LeBron, give it another shot: Things are different these days at Rozz-Tox, but it’s still legendary.
Rozz-Tox is located at Siyou South 2nd Street, Lane 6, #19, Wuyang New Town, Yuexiu District. Open daily 5pm to 1am.