The newest entrant to the Jing’an expat scene, Drunk Uncle offers beers from all over the globe, along with some bizarre meat selections. It’s also one of the few places in Shanghai that nails the Bohemian vibe characteristic of an ironic “meat and beer” concept, a tribute to the fact that one of the owners is Bono Zhang, a fashion designer and vocalist for Shanghai rock band, Banana Monkey.
A Tokyo sake bar meets an indie San Francisco java joint. A spotless wood bar and spiffy drink cabinet almost gives the impression that Drunk Uncle is a place to tipple wine rather than chug beer – that is, if it weren’t for the heavily-inked, trucker-hat wearing, pink-haired staff who pound beers and chain smoke more than Edward R. Murrow.
Yes, on more than one occasion during a lag in business, staffers lit up, grabbed a beer and sat down with me to discuss their music, dreams, possibility of being from Planet X, etc. They also hold periodic jam sessions in the bar. And yet they’re never too ‘hip’ or ‘indie’ to be serviceable and cheerily greet every customer whether you’re a fellow band-member or newcomer with your family.
It’s a nice respite from similar concepts where the tone’s ruined by servers that are either stiltedly formal like at a Cantonese banquet hall or gruff and abrupt like in a dumpling den.
Murphy’s Irish Stout
A UN-esque assembly of beers with brews from Germany like Bittburger (35RMB), Holland (including La Trappe Dubble, Tripel, and Quadrupel), Belgium (including Saison Du Pont, 58RMB), England (including Sam Smith’s Stout and Sam Smith’s Nutbrown), Japan (Asahi), and more. Draft selections entail Asahi, La Trappe, Murphy’s Irish Stout, and Weihenstephan, and they also have a decent crop of fruit beers and ciders like Sam Smith’s (70RMB). Overall, prices are pretty agreeable for imports.
We’ve yet to try all the bizarre meat offerings, but they include a stomach burger (65RMB), meat rice (35RMB), and ‘drunk’s chitlins’; which could be stellar, but the name made us picture the small intestines of a 40-year-old alcoholic.
The meat magnum opus, however, is the ‘meat garden’ (128RMB), a platter of chopped hot dog links, salami, and some very Oscar Meyer-y baloney. It’s a decent enough meat-gasm, but a little pricey for what essentially seems like someone dumped fillings from several pre-schoolers’ sandwiches onto a plate.
You’re better off sticking with the beer and beer snacks such as peanuts and their compilation of Japanese rice crackers, nuts, and dried fish.
A hip but hospitable ambience, international beer selection, and spiffy interior, will likely make Drunk Uncle a regular haunt for artists musicians, and young people looking for a relaxed pint in the Jing’an.
Drunk Uncle – 46 Changhua Lu, near Wuding Lu, Jingan district (静安区昌化路46号, 近武定路). 4pm-2am daily.
See a complete list of our reviews here.
Benjamin Cost is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news updates on Shanghai’s dining scene to [email protected].