DONGPING ROAD: DOOMED OR REDISCOVERED? As some readers may know, the strip of Dongping Road on the south side from Hengshan to Yueyang Roads is leased to the bars, restaurants, tailors etc by the music college behind them. Most of the leases are coming up for renewal over the next 2-12 months.There has been some concern that the music college may decide to reclaim their land for their own expansion purposes, rather than renew the leases. The Blarney Stone’s current 5-year lease is due for renewal at the end of this year. At this stage, the Blarney looks like getting a renewed lease for 3 years at triple the current rent level. This augurs well for Sasha’s, which occupies one of Shanghai’s choicest pieces of real estate and for which the lease expires in October 2008. If the Blarney does succeed in clinching a 3 year deal, then Sasha’s management may be able to achieve the same, also at triple the current rent, so long as there are no puritans among the music school’s top administration who wish to reclaim the property merely for political reasons. For the moment though, the future is still unclear for the hordes of entrenched epicureans and wanderlust-less winos who call Sashas and the Blarney Stone home.
Despite these Damoclean lease concerns overhanging the tenants on Dongping Road’s south side, prospects are brighter on the north side. The Simply Life/Simply Thai group is developing a complex called The Village opposite the Blarney Stone, and this is supposed to house retailers including a wine shop and a bread shop, Paul. No doubt this new shopping complex will bring new consumers into the area which will have a positive effect on all the current Dongping Road businesses. Watch this space for developments.
AMERICAN STEAK AND EGGS BOOZE BARGAINS: A couple of weeks ago we told you about the cheap, quaffable Argentinian wine (RMB65/bottle) available at American Steak and Eggs on Xikang Lu. Well, that’s not all for you booze bargain hunters. During Cocktail Hour, that runs from 4-7pm, Mon-Fri, all mixed drinks are 2 for RMB22. Usually the cocktails are RMB22 each, and they have a list of about 30 of them. Back to wine, they also have another 10 reds and 5 whites by the bottle (some French, Chilean, Australian and Italian), all priced at RMB135, which is still an excellent price for Shanghai. From the wine list, Winopete’s picks would be the Peter Lehmann Weighbridge Chardonnay or Shiraz, or the Redbank ‘Long Paddock’ Chardonnay or Shiraz. For beer drinkers, there’s bottled Carlsberg and Corona at RMB23, Qingdao at RMB15 (or was it 13? Must check again), and Erdinger at RMB35 – possibly the cheapest in Shanghai. From their grog pricing, it is evident they want to make their money on the food, so this is why when I go in for some cheap wine or a bottomless coffee, they always place the food menu in front of me and hang around till we tell them we’ll order food later. Our only problem with the place is it seems somewhat strange to drink wine or cocktails in a coffee shop atmosphere while staring at shelves of HP and A1 sauce. However, so far we have overcome that problem remarkably easily and we’re sure you will too.
O’MALLEYS RUGBY SEVENS…O’Malleys will again be organising a tour to the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens Tournament in March. Trip dates are 28-31 March 2008. As before, the cost will cover all transfers, taxes, flight, shared accommodation, tour shirt, breakfasts and most importantly, the entrance ticket to the Sevens! Of course, the odd drink here and there will be covered as well as a few vouchers for some of Wanchai’s best spots! Flights will be with Dragonair, and accommodation will be split between the Cosmo Hotel and Rosedale on the Park. Both hotels are on Hong Kong Island and are within walking distance to the stadium. Spaces are limited so reserve your spot now. Cost is RMB7400 (add RMB2700 for single supplement). Spaces are limited so it’s best to reserve your spot now. E-mail: [email protected], or call Sean on 13817666694.
DROPS AND DREGS(Snippets from our snouts, tidbits and trivia from the trough and juicy ‘goss’ hot off the rumour mill)
- Trader Vics might be closed down in January. However, rumour has it that the Dubai-based franchise backing the Shanghai op is still considering setting up in Beijing.
- Cotton, of Cotton’s, is apparently looking for a second venue, with Gubei among the preferred locations.
- Emma, ex Blarney Stone, is now at Malone’s. Snow, ex Real Shanghai Cafe and Blue Angel is now full time at school.
- Brendan (ex Dublin Exchange) and Declan (ex O’Malleys, Blarney Stone and Viscaya Club) are still scouring Pudong for a suitable new pub location.
- Revenue at M2, the club in Plaza 66 that only opened a couple of months ago replacing the defunct Wynn Wynn, is reportedly now half what it was when it opened.
WISHING ALL OUR AMERICAN READERS A HAPPY THANKSGIVING, AND THANKS TO ALL THE TURKEYS WHO ARE SUPPORTING THEM. HAPPY DRINKING!
Artist’s impression of The Village from theSimply Life website
Winopete is Shanghaiist’s resident drunkard. Email tips, recommendations, news and gossip about Shanghai’s bar scene to drink at shanghaiist dot com.