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[Radar]: Eden

Feb 17th 12
by Nick Taylor


Area: Nanjing Xi Lu near Shimen Er Lu. Near that massive construction site where they built the new windy road. Near Windows Underground. Near Taobao City. None of those places bear any resemblance to Eden. There is a huge Aston Martin dealership on the ground floor. That’s more Eden’s style.

What it is: Eden is a lounge that’s the size of a club from the people who brought you the Monkey Lounge, the once-secret drinking den beneath Dakota on Donghu Lu. Like Monkey, this is aimed at a well-to-do, slightly older crowd of ABCs, though here they’ve done more to cater to the tastes of a local crowd. There are some high-profile investors from Shanghai’s media scene, too. Right now, it’s soft opening and won’t launch officially until mid-March or later.

Eden is the sort of place where a lot of the crowd will be sitting down and ordering whisky and champagne. But the owners were keen to stress that the doors are also open to those who prefer to stand at the bar to drink, and order by the glass, rather than by the bottle.

Heavy mirrored doors partition a long, thin space, so Eden can transform from a cocktail bar with room for about 80 on a quieter night, into a lounge for twice that number, or again, into a club for a few hundred or more at the weekends. There’s also a VIP room at the back that will open in a few months with KTV facilities and chunky views.

VIP is going to be a big thing here. We expect quite a lot of velvet-rope action. Already the space seems well stocked with dark-suited men eager to see you to your table or enquire about your credentials. There will be minimum spends on tables but for now they are still finding their crowd so they seem quite chilled about that side of things.

Atmosphere: It’s a large space, about 700 square meters on the fourth floor of a building with a good line of sight all around. A lot of time and cash has gone into the furnishings and the look of the place. The ceilings are high. The sofas are deep and squashy. There are some wingback chairs and everything’s in deep, leathery tones, ash and gun-metal grays, and dark wood.

By moving a few sofas to one side, they’ll be able to create a decent-sized dance floor and the owners say excellent music is a big part of their vision. R&B and hip-hop will probably feature pretty highly on the playlist but they’re going to let the music policy grow organically as the place takes shape. Right now, Thursday nights are hip-hop with DJs Choyce Kutz and B-Kut, and a vibe “like the old Thursdays at Pegasus,” if you remember that one.

The way the space is broken up means they can in theory have quite a banging area around the bar with quieter rooms in the back where it’s easier to talk.

Damage: Not as bad as you might imagine. Cocktails are going to be 68rmb or 72rmb, which seems on the low-side, considering the feel of the place. They are still working on the cocktail menu but say their bar tenders (gleaned from Muse, Monkey Bar, I-Club, that kind of spot) can make anything you like. Right now, they do have a menu for tables, which features multi-bottle packages from 2880rmb for two bottles of Grey Goose, a bottle of Perrier-Jouet and that obligatory fruit platter to 10,880 for six bottles of Perrier-Jouet, a jeroboam of Grey Goose and a plate of fruit. Single bottles of spirits start at 980rmb, same for bottles of fizz.

Who's going: Monkey Bar regulars looking for a late-night spot. High-spenders in-the-know. Shanghai’s media crowd. Former Volarists. Local celebrities seeking to drink in a little more privacy than that afforded by M1NT or Muse.

First Impressions: Comfortable. The sofas were really comfortable and there are plenty of seats. It’s not going to be a place that gets horribly rammed and as long as the security don’t become overbearing and hostile to the little people, the atmosphere should be good. We imagine you will meet interesting folk here, far more interesting than you could hope to meet at similar dice-rolling joints.

It's hard to say about the drinks because that’s all still a work in progress, but if they can serve them as well as Monkey Bar, you should get yourself a pretty decent cocktail here, too. If they make some bold decisions with music policy, eschew chart hits for something slightly more challenging, they could create a nice balance between good drinks and a cool crowd, while still being flashy enough to pull in the beautiful people.


Opened:
Early February

Address:
4/F, 760 Nanjing Xi Lu,
near Shimen Er Lu

Map&Details

Table bookings:
6255 6000

Hours:
Weds-Sat, 9:30pm-4am

Prices:
Cocktails from 68rmb to 72 rmb

Bottles of scotch from 1280, bottles of vodka from 980rmb, bottles of champagne from 980.

Packages sit like this: like five bottles of champagne for 4980; two bottles of champagne and a bottle of Glenlivet 12 Year for 3980; six bottles of champagne and a jeroboam of vodka for 10,880.

Brands are all nice and premium.
 
 

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