Sometimes we get nostalgic for the spring of aught-four, and afternoons and evenings whiled away outside at the original Cotton’s, on Yueyang Lu near Dongping Lu. The bar that occupied the space after Cotton’s forced departure was to be avoided at all costs and then came Freelance, which despite helping Shanghaiist throw a damn fine 80s party, never really caught on for whatever reason. And so now we have Abbey Road, which we told you about at the beginning of the month. We’ve been there a few times now and we are happy to report that the look, the feel of Cotton’s is back. A few notes:
- Amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do. The new owners have really brightened up the place and done away with the dark, bachelor pad basement feel that Freelance had. They also reopened the street entrance to the garden, a good move.
- Yes, there is a Beatles theme, but it’s not in your face — a couple things on the wall and one night they did put on a Beatles mix, but no early stuff (“Drive My Car,” “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” etc.), which in our opinion is a good thing. And the Swiss owner’s last name is Aebi (pronounced “Abbey”), so there you go.
- Not quite the beer selection as the place across the street but Abbey Road has Hoegaarden and Newcastle for RMB 35. Not bad. House wines are the same price.
- They have a 300g steak for 80 kuai. Yes, you read that correctly. And that price includes side dishes. Steak wasn’t bad, either — could have used some steak sauce (they didn’t have any).
- Decent breakfast, too, served most of the day on the weekends. We had scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, a bowl of fruit, yogurt and meusli, tea and a glass of freshly squeezed OJ for RMB 55.
- For what it’s worth, a friend says the chairs at Abbey Road aren’t as comfortable as the ones Cotton’s had.
- Another friend suggests you stay away from the Riz Vegi, a fruit curry that comes with loads of white rice, whipped cream and a cherry on top. But … fruit curry?
Anyway, a nice place to enjoy a drink or a meal outside before Shanghai’s miserable summer is upon us … which could very well be the middle of next week. (And, yes, the fact that Abbey Road is a short walk from Shanghaiist Headquarters makes it all the more appealing to us.)
Abbey Road, 45 Yueyang Lu, near Dongping Lu. Tel: 6431 6787. Hours: Mon-Fri, 4pm to late; Sat and Sun, 8:30am to late.