BLUES ROOM GRAND OPENING: Tonight (Wednesday Dec 12TH), 8-11pm, FREE vodka cocktails and snacks. Live jazz. Be there!
RUBY RED WHITE BORDEAUX TASTING: Something special for wine aficionados this Friday (Dec 14th, 7.30pm): Ruby Red is holding a tasting of 6 Bordeaux white wines – 3 dry whites and 3 Sauternes, including Chateau D’Yquem and Lafaurie Peyrageuy!! A fantastic opportunity to taste these famous wines. Given the wine quality to be offered, the cost is a reasonable RMB350 per head. For bookings and other information, please call Ruby Red on 6234 3031, or e-mail: [email protected]
40 SHANGHAI BARS IN BRIEF
Which ones will you visit this weekend?
Avenue (101 Wuning South Rd): Relaxing bar in Jing An that opened this year, ideal for local drinkers. Happy Hour Carlsberg just RMB15.
Aquarium Bar (2F, 6 on The Bund): Sit at a table next to the large aquarium and discuss pertinent, piscine points with your pals. Quite fantastic! That’s why the draft beer costs RMB58.
Be-Bop: Winopete’s favourite watering hole on the Hongmei entertainment street. Low key and friendly staff. Music requests accepted. Pool table upstairs.
Big Bamboo (132 Nanyang Rd): Bustling bar with 2-8pm happy hour, several TV screens for watching sports, average food, service sometimes scatty. Overrated, much like Facebook, but reliable.
Blarney Stone (5 Dongping Rd): Great food, friendy and efficient service, cosy atmosphere, sports broadcasts and traditional Celtic music performed by ‘Big Paul’ and ‘Harry’. The only thing missing is a happy hour. One of Winopete’s favourite spots.
Blue Frog (several locations): Spawning itself all over Shanghai and beyond, generally quite a reliable establishment for eating and drinking. Good happy hour and Tuesday all-day RMB25 drinks.
Blues Room (Tongren/Nanjing West Rds): For jazz-starved drinkers, this new place is for you. Live music nearly all nights until late.
British Bulldog (Wulumuqi Sth/Dongping Rds): This place offers nothing different from nearby bars apart from occasional very late night sports broadcasts and accompanying snacks.
Bubbas (2262 Hongqiao Rd): Very Texan, with great food and several American beers. Holds popular chilli cooking competitions. I’d go there more often if it were closer to home. One of the rarer success stories in recent years.
Castle Oktober (39 Taojiang Rd): Sometimes it’s amazing what money can’t buy. This is one of those times.
Champions (Marriott Hongqiao): After Bubbas, stumble into Champions next door at the Marriott and listen to the underwhelming Filipino band while drinking 5-star hotel-priced drinks. Just don’t make a habit of it.
Constellation Bar (86 Xinle Rd): Excellent, small cocktail bar that does not need to advertise. Good range of whiskeys too. For discerning drinkers, not loud partying types.
Cottons (cnr Jianguo West, Anting Rds): Run-of-the-mill range of drinks, but a fabulous setting.
De Ja Vu (Tongren Rd, near Yan’an West Rd): One of the most blatant rip-off bars on Tongren Rd. Their goal seems to be to shaft every customer who comes through the door. Avoid it.
DR Bar: Slightly pricey bar in Xintiandi, but check out the very special wall design.
El Cubano (3896 Hong Mei Rd): The original one in Gubei makes the best mojitos in town, and has busy Latino nights late Fri/Sat. The food is so-so.
Face (Bldg 4, Ruijin Guesthouse, 114 Ruijin Er Lu): Come during the warmer months and sit next to the large lawn. Expect Jeeves to prepare the G&Ts and cucumber sandwiches. All jolly good. Anyone been to the Face in Pudong?
Flashback (Julu Rd bar strip): Probably the worst bar among the justifyingly,decaying Julu Rd bar strip. Avoid.
Flying Fox (cnr Xinjinqiao and Hongfeng Rds): Started off well last year, but has lost popularity after some management changes. New bars nearby will test its mettle.
Free Soul (1221 Changle Rd): A no-frills, cheap dive bar worth visiting.
Glamour Bar (6F, 5 on The Bund): Used to be nice, but now panders to the ‘look at me’, want to be ‘in’ set and plastic expats. Occasionally holds some decent live music events though.
Hamilton House (137 Fuzhou Rd): New venue near the Bund with a nice bar, good range of drinks but limited food menu. Feedback to date is that the drinks are good, but the food needs improvement. No happy hour.
Jean-Georges Bar (4F, 3 on The Bund): Very posh, with very professional service. Ideal for a splurge. A popular hang-out for F&B industry big wigs.
Jenny’s Blue Bar (7 Donghu Rd): OK for one or two drinks, popular with Teutonic tipplers.
Joy Bar and Cafe (345 Wuning Sth Rd): A respectable, small bar with friendly staff. Food quality has deteriorated though. Opened this year.
Koala Bar (280 Huaihai West Rd): A friendly, little bar cluttered up with a large pool table. Cheap drinks. Skip the food.
Martini Bar (1F, 6 on The Bund): Excellent martinis, cocktails and truffle cheese. Bund prices. Does have a week day happy hour (6-8pm) worth noting. Music sometimes played too damn loud, even when there’s a paucity of clientele.
Nancy’s: Another of the few reasonable bars on the Hongmei entertainment street.
Noah’s (6F, 37 Fuzhou Rd): Inside Captain Hostel. Cheapest beer on the Bund! Decent view too!
Old Manhattan (231 Huashan Rd): No-frills bar opposite the Hilton with good happy hour. Popular with late night drinkers who are used to beating off belligerent beggars and hoary hookers.
O’Malleys (42 Taojiang Rd): Still trundling along after 11 years, but needs a new lease of life to capitalise fully on its reputation and location.
Penthouse Bar (Hilton): One of Winopete’s favourite hotel bars. Go mid to late evening, sink into one of the lounges, sip a wine and enjoy the soft live music and fine city night time views. Pleasantly dark. Leave the shades at home.
Real Shanghai Cafe (253 Huashan Rd): Winopete’s pick of the bars opposite the Hilton. Serves up some decent Teppanyaki tucker. 2-4-1 happy hour from 4-8pm.
Sasha’s (cnr Hengshan, Dongping Rds): Good food, good pizzas, great wine buffet and extensive wine list, friendly and efficient service. Nice garden for the warmer months. Another of Winopete’s regular hangouts.
Tara (2F, 57 Fuxing West Rd): Overrated cocktail lounge with ghastly red decore.
The Hut (385 Yongjia Rd): I have yet to visit here, but some reliable drinking buddies recommend it for a relaxing ale.
The Shed (off Lane 210, Taikang Rd): Aussie beers available at almost cost price. Wowsers not welcome. Invitation initially needed via Justbeer.cn due to the bar’s closet-sized space.
Three Sisters (Fenyang Rd, just a little north from Paulaner): A place for the lads. Watch the bill though. Leave the wife or g/f at home.
Trader Vics (cnr Fengyang and Datian Rds): Wonderful tropical cocktails, spectacular decore, good food, friendly and efficient service. Just needs many more customers to fill the ridiculously large space. A barrel of Tortuga has led this scribe to sleep on their sofa more than once.
Woodstock: One of the safer bars on Tongren that plays good ‘ol rock n’ roll videos.
… with stacks more to come!
Winopete is Shanghaiist’s resident drunkard. Email tips, recommendations, news and gossip about Shanghai’s bar scene to drink at shanghaiist dot com.