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China bar lets customers beat up staff
BEIJING, Aug 7 (AFP) Aug 07, 2006
A new bar in eastern China is offering customers an unusual outlet for anger -- by allowing them to use the staff as punching bags, state media said Monday.

In addition to getting a drink, customers at the "Rising Sun Anger Release Bar" in Nanjing city are able to pay money to beat up staff, smash glasses, shout and scream, the China Daily said.

If that doesn't work, customers can also receive psychological counselling, the paper said.

The bar employs 20 well-built men in their 20s and 30s who have agreed to be hit. Customers can specify how they want the men to appear -- they can even be dressed up as women, the newspaper said.

The bar charges 50 to 300 yuan (6.35 to 37.50 US dollars) for customers to release their anger, depending on their demands.

The bar was set up in April by Wu Gong, a 29-year-old man who got his inspiration from similar bars in Japan, according to the paper.

Wu insisted his staff were fully equipped with protective gear, and the bar gave them regular physical training.

The new venue has been particularly popular with women working in service and entertainment industries such as karaoke bars or massage parlors.

It has stirred controversy, with some critics interviewed by the China Daily saying that while the idea of beating someone dressed as one's boss might be attractive to some people, violence will not solve problems.

Wu may also run into problems with the authorities as he had registered his business as a dancing venue, not a place for anger release, the China Daily said.

Nevertheless, the bar has won some fans.

"Pressure in today's society comes from just about anywhere... we get no place to vent our anger. The idea of beating someone decorated as your boss seems attractive," local salesman Chen Liang told the paper.

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