Image from Delta Sky Magazine, of all places.
Et tu, Hengshan Lu? In a follow up from yesterday’s post about the end of the sketchy Tongren Lu era, rumors are now spreading that the bars along Hengshan Lu are also on their way out. City officials argue that business along the street has been declining as upscale bars and clubs like those of Xintiandi take off, justifying the need to change things up.
Public relations specialist Gu Yiqiao agrees that, despite initial success ten years ago, Hengshan Lu has lost its allure.
“The bars there are not that fashionable and elegant,” she says, adding that laowais’ drunken merriment and antics render the area unsafe.
On the other hand, patrons still visiting the area appreciate the low prices (day by day becoming rarer in Shanghai) and diverse selection of bars.
In order to revive business in Hengshan Lu, city planners are hoping to trade in hai keyi bars for high-end boutiques and restaurants by 2015. We don’t know which of the Hengshan strip will be targeted, but we can venture a few guesses (we’re looking at you, Dongping girly bars.)
Hengshan Lu’s hypothetical transformation into a classy local shopping and eating area would conveniently complement the high-rent paying crowd already living in the area.
We at Shanghaiist believe that the issue here isn’t that customers want fancier (i.e. more expensive) places to drink. We just want to be able to walk into a clean bar, pay for an affordable beverage (with real alcohol) and hang out. Honestly, Shanghai, if you keep this up and get rid of all the cheap bar streets, where are students and moderately paid expats going to drink and chill? On the stoop of a Ke Di with lukewarm beers?
By Fotini Gan