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[On The Radar]: Revolucion Cocktail 2.0, World Of Beer

New cocktail club on Yanping Lu, a beer shop right next to Dr. Beer, a luxury hotel on The Bund, and more...
Last updated: 2016-06-16
On the Radar is a SmartShanghai column profiling new restaurants, bars, and other new places we find interesting. Sometimes we stumble upon these places, and sometimes we are invited, but in both cases, we are never paid to write an opinion, rather, these are our honest first impressions, and not a formal review.
On The Radar is a weekly SmartShanghai column where we profile 2-3 new venues that you might like to know about. Here are the facts and our first impressions.

1. Revolucion Cocktail 2.0


Quick Take: Popular Cuban bar on Yongkang Lu gets a much bigger sequel in Jing'an, with room for 150 people, a bangin' soundsystem, and tropical vibes.

What It Is: A mid-sized cocktail club on Yanping Lu, right off the sidewalk, on the first floor of the building where La Stazione was. Drinks are casual and refreshing; nothing too serious or Prohibition era here, though they'll have some twists on Old Fashioneds. On weekends, they'll shut the soundproof doors and keep parties with DJs going until 4am. It's kind of a cross between old Lola and Parrot, but more open, and in a neighborhood with a lot of party people. They also open at 6pm, with USB and power charging stations at the bar for those who prefer to use the place as a café.

Fun facts: Both Revolucion Cocktail and Le Cafe des Stagiaires started on Yongkang Lu, then expanded to Bangkok in 2015, in the same district. Shanghai success stories right there. Revolucion also has bars in Chengdu and Xiamen.

Atmosphere: Summer / tropical, with big parrot paintings on the walls, rum cocktails served in Tiki glasses, and Latin and hip hop on a soundsystem that you can feel even at a low volume. They say it's a cocktail club -- not a bar -- and that feels true. The DJ booth stands just high enough over the room to keep away Becky-with-the-bad-requests. Depending on the night, music will span Latin, hip hop, Top 40, and house. Very casual -- the staff wear T-shirts, not suits. Nice couches on the back wall, too.

Damage: Cocktails from 65rmb-100rmb.

First Impressions: Gonna go ahead and predict this one as the hot spot of the summer in Jing'an. There's few places to dance in this neighborhood, and this spot has the floor, the soundsystem, the design, and the drinks. Seems like really nice people running it too. Well done.

Revolucion is doing a media night tonight (Thursday) and officially grand opening tomorrow night on the Friday. Gotta say, it's refreshing to see a place forgo the requisite Shanghai soft opening period and just open up properly 100% as soon as they start accepting people's money.

- Ian L.

2. World Of Beer


Quick Take: American craft beer chain expands to Shanghai, with a shop on Fumin Lu, right next to Dr. Beer.

What It Is: What's with beer places in Shanghai going head to head? First it was Shanghai Brewery opening next to Liquid Laundry, and now, just a few blocks away, an American craft beer chain right next to long-standing Fumin Lu brewery Dr. Beer. Like, their patios touch. Anyway, this is Tampa, Florida-based beer chain World Of Beer's first franchise outside of America. They've got 400 kinds of beer by the bottle, around 40 on draft, and a couple curiosities like a machine that infuses beer with fresh fruit and a cask ale machine. They also cook up bar food like tater tots, fries, and wings. The wings are decent.

Atmosphere: Guess it's the Chili's of craft beer bars. TV screens show sports as music whips around from American country music to Justin Bieber to The Weeknd. Seems there's some kind of stage above the room for musicians to play on. They've also got a decent sized patio with two levels, one right on the sidewalk and a bit higher up.

Damage: Prices are just all over the place. A Qingdao IPA on draft is 78rmb, but a Bell's Oberon* from my hometown, Kalamazoo, Michigan -- a brewery that does not officially export to China -- is 65rmb (over 10USD). Magner's Cider is 98rmb. Guinness is 90rmb.

*As a consumer, it's great to enjoy your favorite beer abroad (if it's served properly, and not expired). Without getting into parallel importing or other inside baseball stuff, there are many true craft breweries who prefer to only sell their beers in their region, for reasons ranging from quality control to more philosophical motivations.

First Impressions: If you liked Malone's, you might dig this place. If you're on a business trip and feeling the culture shock, you'll find some sanctuary here.

- Ian L.

And Also...

These are some new places we didn't have a chance to check out yet. If you did, feel free to write a review for a shot at 500rmb in Sherpa's delivery.

1. Wanda Reign on the Bund - Property giant Wanda are opening a five star hotel on The Bund this Saturday, June 18. The exterior design comes from Foster + Partners, the company that did The Gherkin, in London. All of the 193 rooms, which are spread among 20 floors and sprinkled with '20s and '30s Shanghai vibes, are already booked out for the weekend. F&B offerings will open gradually over the coming months, including a "Michelin-starred fine-dining" restaurant called MARC on the rooftop, an all-day-dining spot called Café Reign, a Chinese restaurant called RIVER DRUNK, a Japanese restaurant called HE, a lobby lounge, and a club for one-percenters called "Club Reign." Best club never ever. The hotel's motto is "Your Reign of Excellence." So noble.

2. Bowl'd - Small vegan café on Anfu Lu, serving akai smoothie bowls, juice, and other healthy foods. The place is bright and modern, and they've got a few outdoor seats. Bowls range from 36-70rmb.

3. Peter's Cuisine (Crystal Galleria) - That crazy popular steak stand in K11 and on Yueyang Lu now has a shop in Jing'an. Minimal concept here -- you pick an Aussie steak, then they grill it in front of you and serve it up in a little cardboard boat with some salad. Reasonably priced and solid. Finally something decent in this strange mall.

4. Shanghai Disney Resort - Shanghai's version of Disneyland opened. Been flying pretty under the radar though. Haven't heard too much about this place. It's a mystery.