Winopete has ‘read’ the dregs in his wine glass and come up with the following predictions for the Year of the Rat:
- Another 3 or 4 night clubs will open, and another 3 or 4 will evapoRATe into Shanghai’s failed business netherland, with at least 2 or 3 of them being reincarnated as something else. We’re not naming names yet to avoid legal complications.
- Pudong will remain a wasteland for iRATe pub-goers, with salvation only delivered by expensive, ghostly 5-star hotel bars such as BATS, the non-performing Flying Fox or maybe the new Bamboo in Jinqiao.
- A few small pubs will open, providing options for regular drinkers to escape from pRATs at their usual watering holes. Joy Bar will continue to do trundle along, but Avenue will need to adopt some changes otherwise it will bite the dust.
- The venue on the SW corner of Hengshan and Dongping, currently called “Hello Two,” will change name and ownership at least once, very probably twice, in the coming 12 months, as it has over the previous 3-4 years. The location must surely be RATed a ‘feng shui’ disaster by all ‘feng shui’ masters.
- Shanghai’s drinking establishments will experience a notable influx of foreigners before and after the Beijing Olympics, only causing inconvenience to stuffy regulars who insist on sitting at the same bar stool or same table every visit. These daily drunks will then beRATe bar staff with comments such as “I’ve been coming here long enough that I own all those chairs.”
- To feed off the Olympic hysteria, bars with big screens will obtain bigger screens; bars with just one TV will get more. Olympic broadcasts will be on day and night, showing everything from swimming and the opening ceremony to Kenyans doing kaRATe and Egyptians doing judo.
- Listings and reviews of pubs in Shanghai’s mainstream print media will remain stale and skewed, thus providing a buoyant business outlook for independent F&B journos and entrepreneurs who will incur the wRATh of establishments rubbished objectively by these journalists taking the moral high ground.
- Looking beyond 2008, the new Shangri-La being constructed on Yan’an Xi Lu, next to Tongren Lu, will unfortunately deliver thousands more bright and bushy-tailed visitors to the evil clutches of the Tongren Rd scam bars, rip-off merchants and midnight muggers, leading to an acceleRATion of ugly confrontations between victims, bar owners, police and so-called expat protectors (i.e. embassies and consulate-generals).
- The swelling number of low income expats in Shanghai will lead to further polarisation of bars into two categories: (Category 1) – high-end, stuffy, Bund-priced bars aimed at tourists, corpoRATe GMs and platinum Amex card holders, or (Category 2:) – bars placating the bargain seekers, either having long happy hours, frequent all-you-can-drink deals or peddling low-priced, dodgy quality booze.
- “Tales of Tongren Lu”, commenting on the city’s social stRATa, will be a best-seller in Shanghai’s bookshops, come 2020.
Photo from Big Fat Rat
Winopete is Shanghaiist’s resident drunkard. Email tips, recommendations, news and gossip about Shanghai’s bar scene to drink at shanghaiist dot com.