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The latest technological advance in SmartShanghai's ongoing war to stay on top of new venues opening up around town, The Radar is a weapon of mass diversion, pinpointing the buzzed about bars, clubs, and restaurants in Shanghai, giving you strictly the facts. Zip zap.


Aug 21, 2009
by Morgan Short

Area: Dada is on Xingfu right in between Anar Bar and LOgO Bar. It's at the bottom of a little alley way. They've got a red ticker sign at the front of the alley. Turn in there and head down.

What is it: Dada is Michael O., a long-time Shanghai-based music/events promoter (Antidote, PAUSE, various other stuff) stepping into the bar biz. He's managing and co-owning the place, along with a few other Shanghai-experienced investors (they of Captain’s Bar/Hostel).

Dada could be classified as bar, lounge, and/or club, because it kind of does all three. It's not big enough to be a proper club, but there’s a small dance floor and music is in that direction. It's a little too up-beat to be a lounge, but they've got chic-looking couches and half the bar is group seating. And it's too much of a club and lounge -- its too dim, dance-y, and hip-looking -- to be a bar, even though there’s an emphasis on proper beer (Vedett, Stella, etc.).

They've been crossing t's and doting i’s for about a month or so, as well as learning things like apparently you need a licence if you want to install a western-style toilet. They’ve got one now and their official opening the last weekend on August.

Events-wise, they're straying from the model of concentrating on hyped, one-off events, and looking to do more laid-back bar parties -- '80s nights and things like that. There's less an emphasis on "cutting edge music" and touring DJs -- and that's what you'd be expecting from the Antidote promoter -- but Dada seems like it will be more about just old fashion drinking good times. Even though the place is called "Dada", that's where the association with the modernist movement ends. Seems like they won't make you feel obligated to support the arts. Most of the time culture tends to get in the way of a good bender anyways.

Atmosphere: Basically, it reflects the background of the manager and investors, and comes from cheaper, "dive bar", "hip lounge"-type territory, but it's actually quite laid-back, hassle-free, and comfortable. Art work on the walls is by Arthur Gallice, a locally-based graphic designer. Every time we stopped by, drinks were flowing and it was all good cheer. Kind of like the good old days of C's bar in a nicer setting. Expect to spend your time variously chatting at the bar or hanging out at a table. Last time we went we got into a debate on whether Paula Abdul was the poor man's Gloria Estefan or vice versa. It was riveting.

Damage: Cheap. Specials on small Vedett drafts for 20rmb. 30rmb pints. Cocktails from 30rmb.

Who's Going: People running the Anar to LOgO bar circuit. Shanghai-based DJs who don’t happen to have another job that night. Anyone with an abundance of cool but a dearth of currency. It obviously fits in with the whole "underground" bar scene and caters to the kinds of westerners and Chinese who tend to hit those up. Good times.

[Disclosure: the aforementioned manager of Dada sometimes reviews restaurants for SmartShanghai.]
August 2009

115 Xingfu Lu,
near Fahuazhen Lu,
between LOgO and Anar
Taxi-Printout and Map

Daily 8pm-late
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