Vestibule Cocktail Room opening: Set in the back of Patachon Cafe on the expatopia of Dagu Road, the whispery Vestibule Cocktail Room was designed by owner Charles Benin to evoke an 19th century French drink lounge. Indeed, dim bronze lighting, a luminous drink shelf, shady wood bar, and countless references to French figures remind you of a drink den where Toulouse Lautrec and company would head for some liquid inspiration. Speaking of, Vestibule makes its own absinthe, which it keeps in a classic Absinthiana, and also distills rum and spicy banana vodka, a bizarre concoction that blisters your lips with spice before soothing them with sweet banana. These are kept in large Appalachian-looking moonshine jars. Cocktails are named after famous French Kings and Queens and include the Bloody Marie Antoinette with vodka, tomato juice, lemon, horseradish, and genepi, and the Charlemagne (angry or not); gin, agave nectar, lime juice, and Tabasco if you want it. Vestibule’s official soft opening is on Monday so nothing’s set and stone but cocktails will start at around 60RMB, with the most expensive ones setting you back 150RMB or more. If you ever wanted to get tipsy in another time period, Vestibule Cocktail Room’s the closest thing you’ll get in Shanghai.
Vestibule Cocktail Room // Patachon Cafe // 426 Dagu Lu, near Shimen Yi Lu (大沽路426号, 近石门一路). Tel: 150-2693-1989. Hours: 9am-12am daily.
Drunk Uncle, new meat and beer bar on Changhua Road: A beer joint called Drunk Uncle might conjure up images of thrown chairs and people sliding each other a glass-filled bar to the tune of Yakety Sax, but it’s far from. Instead, you get a low-key, almost Asian fusion setting where a vast selection of beers from Holland Dubbels to English Smith Stouts are tippled like wine. We’ll be back for their meat offerings, which include a tripe burger and something called a “meat garden.”
Drunk Uncle // 46 Changhua Lu, near Wuding Lu (静安区昌化路46号，近武定路). Hours: 4pm-2am daily.
New Hooters in Hongqiao: Just when you thought they couldn’t expand any more (the restaurant chain, I mean), Hooters has hunkered down in Hongqiao. Not just burgers and boobs, the joint also harbors an open kitchen, bar counter and even a coffee area.
Benjamin Cost is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news updates on Shanghai’s dining scene to [email protected].