We SMSed a member of Shanghai’s Gaelic football team — they were known to frequent the Spot Bar — to get the lowdown on what happened. His take: “There’s an old building behind it, they wanted a garden front to it so they ripped it down.” Indeed, tearing down the building that housed the restaurant and bar exposes a really nice old villa that we hadn’t noticed before. While the house likely doesn’t have a bar (and if they did have a bar, they probably wouldn’t allow drunk Irish guys to dance on top of it), we have to admit the house is a little more aesthetically pleasing than the Spot Bar was. But our guess is that they will probably block it from street view with a concrete wall of some kind.
We asked a Malone’s employee for her take on the situation. She said the entire block was owned by the government (aren’t they all?) and that the contract for the Irene’s/Spot building was up, so the wrecking crew was brought in. We asked if Malone’s was safe — she said they are … until 2009, when their contract is up. We had just remarked that Malone’s looks a little rough in the light of day. Guess there is not much motivation to keep up appearances if your place could be demolished in a few years time.
We’re not sure if the Spot Bar will open again elsewhere, but the lady at Malone’s told us that Irene’s was moving a few doors down to the old Stock Exchange bar location at 331 Tongren Lu. We walked down to check the place out. They are in the middle of renovations, but if it is going to be Irene’s, that’s going to be one big Thai restaurant. We find this a little curious, because every time we went to the old Irene’s for lunch, it was empty.
It’s very possible that some of the above information is partially or completely wrong — we didn’t really investigate much. We can confirm the demise of the building (and that next Sunday we will return to the City Diner) with confidence, however. If anyone else has any more information or insight, please share it in a comment.