The Shanghai International Beer Festival kicks off tonight. Didn't that just happen? Anyway, this goes down from 6pm–1am on Thursday and Friday then 2pm-1am on Saturday and Sunday at Wharf 1643 by The Cool Docks. There's 65 beer tents and 30 food vendors, including Tock's, La Coyota, and Rajun Cajun. Beers by Brooklyn Brewery, Amazonia, and many more. Last time I went, the average beer was 30rmb.

Tickets are 50rmb and that includes a free Stella Artois. There's a ton of free tickets floating around town as well but you don't get a free beer with those. Got any media friends? Holler at them. Probably got a stack of about 200. For entertainment, there's acrobats, performances, dancers, and a gang of locally-based DJs. Here's the full music schedule:

... Read on

NIGHTLIFE / OCT 30 / Share


So there's this Halloween runway show on Friday night that will outshine anything at Shanghai Fashion Week. Artist Mike Loh, whose dayjob is making 10,000 dollar predator suits for rich otakus, has spent the last several months hand-crafting, 3D-printing, molding, cutting, and sewing ten full-sized pieces of wearable art for a fashion show at Strictly Designer's at 9pm on Friday. It's free, with music by the Come Correct Crew and cheap drinks.

Ahead of that, I spoke with Mike via email and WeChat about cos-play, haters, and Predator... ... Read on

ART / OCT 30 / Share


I've been hipped to quite a few "Coming Soon" signs for some popular venues around town.

First: Kota's. After being pushed out by his previous partners, it looks like Kota Tsubuki is coming back with vengeance. He's already got a second branch in the works on Nanjing Xi Lu in Henderson 688 Plaza. My guess is we can expect an experience similar to this. Kota will soon be joined by another branch of glo London, too.

Just down the street, Shanghai Centre will soon have a couple of new tenants: another branch of classic cocktail lounge Bar Constellation. Just a couple of doors down, another branch of Jesse (Lao Jishi), which is owned by the same family that owns Constellation, will open soon as well.

DINING / OCT 30 / Share


Tropical cocktail lounge Starling is throwing its official opening party this evening. They've got a couple of guest drink slinger behind the bar, one a certain George Nemec, who used to consult for Chinatown and Lost Heaven. He'll be joined by Angus Zou, who enjoys quite a bit of renown as bartender in Taipei.

They'll be mixing a few signature drinks all night. They've got a Pineapple Old Fashioned made with grilled pineapple-infused rum, vanilla syrup and bitters. Or there is the Tom Yum Colada, which is fairly self-explanatory. Then there is my favorite, the Burmese Sour, which is made with kaffir lime leaf-infused gin, fresh lemon juice, macadamia syrup and fresh egg white. They're 50rmb across the board.

Festivities start at 7.30 and goes late.

NIGHTLIFE / OCT 30 / Share


So, not quite free booze but pretty decent. British restaurant Notting Hill on Wukang Lu is slinging two Belgium draft beers for 10rmb per glass until Sunday. You've got Palm Draught, a Belgian Pale Ale weighing in at 5.4% ABV, and Het Keizerrijk van Bree, a Belgian White clocking in at 4.9%. Seems the latter is one of those Belgian beers that's only available in China, according to Ratebeer.com.

Neither brew scored particularly high on some beer websites I checked, but hey, 10rmb for a draft - can't argue with that. Offer is good from 5-9.30pm daily until Sunday.

NIGHTLIFE / OCT 29 / Share


More than half a decade after the speakeasy cocktail craze that has swept up cities like New York, Shanghai is experiencing its own. Well, we've got, like, three or so (hey, it's a start): Boulevard, Speak Low, and now Flask.

This latest of the bunch is fronted by a panini shop called The Press. But on my visit, no paninis were being served. Guests were bypassing the sandwich counter for a Coke machine that opens up to a clandestine booze lair. Inside it's fairly non descript. It's dark, furnished with low-slung tables, armchairs, and sofas. Perhaps the most notable design cue is a rack of glass carboys full of a liquid that looks like whiskey.
... Read on

NIGHTLIFE / OCT 29 / Share


Some tough soles preparing to run 42.195km for glory and cold hard cash in the annual Shanghai Marathon this Sunday morning at 7am...

Cue: "The Final Countdown"

The race kicks off at 7am sharp on The Bund at Chen Yi Square on Zhongshan Dong Lu near Nanjing Dong Lu. That's probably the best place to get a photo with all the runners together. Maybe just hit up The Bund for the sunrise and some tai-chi and just wait for the runners to show up. ... Read on

COMMUNITY / OCT 29 / Share


You thought festival season was over. It ain't. Here comes [at least] one last music festival for the 2-0-1-4, out in that water-village Zhujiajiao on Nov 8 and 9. They're calling this little hippie affair the Shalanaya Festival, and we're looking at an all night fest with two stages, twenty DJs dropping house, psytrance, and ambient, cheap vegetarian food, a chai tent, fire dancers, cheap camping, two big bonfires, and a proper soundsystem. Here's why they're doing this, according to one of the organizers:

"If nothing else try to get the fucking kids out of the Shanghai clubs for just once, let them walk around on some grassy fields/trees, connect with nature, look at the moon and if not expand their consciousness a bit, at least widen their repertoire of what fun and play and dancing can be, even in Shanghai."

Admirable goals. I've been to Zhujiajiao about four times and it's a nice spot filled with trees and canals. Some may remember The Antidote Festival there back in the 2-0-0-9 as one of the best days ever. This will probably make for a nice escape from the city. Getting there requires a one-hour journey by bus or metro + sketchy cab. Tickets are 120rmb pre-sale or 180rmb at the door. More info on this as we get it.

NIGHTLIFE / OCT 28 / Share


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8fullhours on Downstairs on Oct 25th
I’ve been a frequent visitor of Downstairs for the past 2+ years. I love the ambiance and eco concept, but have been consistently unimpressed with a shocking lack of basic culinary skills ranging from bland dinners, a lasagna which quite frankly insulted me as an Italian and cold, overpriced breakfasts. But I love the spot, friendly staff and am a huge fan of any commitment towards sustainability. The relatively cheap drink menu (given Urbn is one of the most expensive hotels in Shanghai) helps too. I visited Downstairs [..read on]

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