On Saturday, Oct. 27, the same night as our Halloween extravaganza, police raided and shut down Shanghai’s popular gay club, Club Deep (commonly called “Deep“). Word on the street is that some Deep patrons were indulging in some not-so-legal substances during Deep’s “Decadent Halloween” party, sponsored by i-Candy. According to our sources, between 20-30 police officers (initially mistaken for costumed go-go dancers, it was a Halloween party after all) arrested around 10 people, all suspected of using cocaine at the club. Although facts about the incident remain unclear, Deep is closed for the moment and its future is in doubt.
The timing is particularly bad because with the construction of a new, glitzy hotel and spa called The Place Hotel & Spa next to Jing’an park, rumor has it that the presence of a gay club next to the hotel would not be good for business. Whether the drug bust and the hotel’s pressures on the club are connected or whether this was part of a larger anti-drug campaign is anyone’s guess, much to the delight of conspiracy enthusiasts. Interesting note: No word about whether they are forcing out the even louder, drunker, and vomitrocious (literally) Windows Too directly across the street. Go figure.
For now, the gay scene has relocated to PinkHome, which used to be Shanghai’s most popular gay club until Deep moved onto the scene in the summer of 2006. Although club attendance has been dwindling of late, with Deep’s forced closure and rumors of a forced move, the club is now back on top.
It’s been an interesting few years for the club and the latest developments in the gay community have added even more intrigue. When Home&Bar reopened as PinkHome after months and months of renovation at the end of 2006, the LGBT community responded in full force. The club was crowded, the music was booming, and the drinks were flowing. With a viable alternative to Club Deep, both clubs were doing quite well.
With the “competition” (can’t we all just get along?) between the clubs heating up with alleged dirty tactics in full force on both sides, the community got caught in the middle. Despite hiring a new P.R. manager, offering promotions, throwing many themed parties, and working closely with the Shanghai LGBT group, the crowds kept going to Deep. Even more recently, PinkHome’s P.R. manager quit and only a handful of people could be seen in the club, paying on a Friday or Saturday night. With Deep temporarily out of the picture, gay clubgoers now want to know, “Where are we going tonight?”
In other gay related news…
- The YouTube video above is yet another introduction to the gay scene in Shanghai. This time, the short video is from Danwei and their YouTube page. In the Danwei video, be sure to catch the Chinese guest and gay tour guide on the show mention that PinkHome isn’t “cool” anymore and how no one goes there anymore. With Deep closed, PinkHome is now the cool place to be.
- While another gay bar, Space Bar, was rumored to have been closed down by police, that rumor proved to be untrue, as the bar reopened after some renovations were completed. Now, the money boys have more comfortable places to sit.
- The 600+ member strong Shanghai LGBT group just had their 2nd annual LGBT pub crawl on October 27. Two crowded buses carrying about 100 people in total took a tour of Shanghai’s LGBT bar and club scene. Among the sites they were Eddy’s, Shanghai Studio, Hunter, Bobo’s, PinkHome. The last stop was Club Deep, but as you already know, that didn’t work out too well.