Fact: Baijiu is more complex than you think it is. Fact: Baijiu is good, actually. Fact: Phoebe Han of HEALER has teamed up with UnTour Food Tours to do a masterclass on the single most popular alcohol in the world (by volume sold), and it's happening on World Baijiu Day — Sunday, August 9. Phoebe Han, one of Shanghai's best proponents for Chinese alcohol, walks nascent baijiu fans through the fascinating history of baijiu and how it became so popular, explain the different styles and aromas, how to infuse baijiu, and how to integrate the... let's say "robust" flavors of some Chinese ingredients into cocktails.
Here's your chance to re-examine your biases against the sorghum liquor under Phoebe's capable guidance. It's 250rmb presale, including a baijiu flight and custom baijiu cocktail, or 300rmb on the door. Starts 5pm. Sign-up on the event listing.
Lot of talk swirling around this one, so here's what we know: after reopening in May, one of Shanghai's longest-standing and opulent Bund club/restaurants M1NT has apparently closed its doors over the weekend. Possibly permanently. They aren't accepting reservations any longer, and their Official WeChat posted a cryptic, uncaptioned picture on Sunday. We can speculate that the lack of international travelers hit their bottom line pretty hard.
However, when we reached out, we were told they were "just on hold." There are noises about coming back, but at least for now — if not permanently — M1NT is closed.
Four(ish) options to add to your rotation of caps locks CLUBS. The space that once was Arkham in Found 158 has instead become ZHAI, courtesy of at least one person from ASL, described as the nightclub you'd put into the basement of your mansion if you could afford it — wait a minute — laid out with tiered table-seating, and integrating some sort of a membership program. That's opening Friday, July 31. Exciting!
Up near Wuding/Jiaozhou Lu, the group behind Barbarian and MANIA are opening a three-floor club called BANDIT. First floor is meant to be a cafe/brunch spot, second floor is a house/techno club and cocktail lounge, and the third floor is a terrace. Soft opening expected around mid-August.
Going into TX Mall is a new club in collaboration with teamLAB. It's called MASTER and is described as a "24h immersive art space" in a club, incorporating teamLAB technology, which sounds... absolutely insane. Not to be mistaken with the quartet of DJs they currently have playing in the actual teamLAB location; this is a different, 3,500sqm space which will be separated into three distinct music sections for EDM, hip hop and techno. When we first mentioned it last year, it was scheduled for "early 2020," but then, you know, stuff happened.
Finally, the rumor is that CE LA VI, the short-lived tripartite Bund club is meant to be coming back? Maybe?! Is that all we know, or is it all we can share?! Speculation! Club gossip!
There goes the neighborhood. The Camel, which announced earlier this month that it was relocating at the end of July, has revealed its new location: 97 Xiangyang Bei Lu, a five minute bike-ride from its Yueyang Lu spot.
It's occupying a street-side spot in the same building that currently contains, count them, four other bars (The Broken Dagger, Tap That, Plan B and Laundry Co., as well as Yasmine's), a block from the packed Fumin Axis, just down the street from ALL and Tastebuds and two hundred meters from IAPM.
If this keeps going, the whole block is liable to sink under the weight of all these bars. Xiangyang 158. The Beer Atlantis! See you in August, Camel.
This city operates on such an accelerated timeframe that the nostalgia cycle isn't thirty years, it's like... three. Comebacks, baby! Once upon a time there was a "New York"-style loft lounge called The Apartment, popular for its ladies nights and part of the bustling Yongfu Lu street life scene, the sort you mostly get on Donghu Lu now; club-goers huddled in the shadow of bouncers and pirate cigarette sellers, basically. Was it any good?
Who knows, 2010 was eons ago! Crumbling papyrus scrolls unearthed in a cave near C's suggest that it was pretty good. A multi-hyphenate, chill hook-up-hang-out-lounge-bar-dining spot, split across several floors with space for dining, lounging, and rooftop drinking. But it closed in 2017. But now it's back! How is Apartment 2.0?
The cries of "vive la France" are a little muted this year, judging by our events section. Still, a couple of Francophile centers around town are summoning up whatever elan they can muster and celebrating Bastille Day. Paul Pairet's Xintiandi cafe Polux is doing 50% off rose all day. Fellas is partnering with MVP for a decadent French rooftop party overlooking the Bund with French pop, electro and drink deals/dinner set menus. Mr. & Mrs. Bund are celebrating for the entire week except, uh July 14, when it's closed. seul&Seul is doing buy-one-get-one on champagne until Sunday.
The biggest party, as usual, will probably be down in the Pit, where the unofficial French (Belgian but whatever) consulate Cafe des Stagieres is celebrating with L'Apero Du 14e Julliet with three hours of free-flow wine and finger foods for 250rmb. Wave that little tricolore, Shanghai.
Camel group announced that their original location on Yueyang Lu will closing down at the end of this month, and moving on to greener oases. That's the end of a full decade as the tent peg that kept the whole Pushkin triangle from flying away in the breeze. The official closing party is on Saturday, July 25. They'll be announcing their new location at 9pm on the night. So mysterious! So secret. Final day of service is Friday, July 31, and they've got something special planned for that day too. We can only hope it's no-holds barred cage rugby in the backroom, moderated by Ned Kelly. Full statement after the jump.
That's right. Canada! Inferno isn't satisfied with just one day to celebrate the red, white and white, and they're hosting a night of Canadian Metal Night, with maple flag man-thongs guaranteed and — oh, is there another country celebrating the Fourth of July? Just kidding! Beer, hot dogs, barbecue and rock'n'roll happening all over Shanghai on Saturday, July 4. Here are just a couple things going down.
It's been a decade since DJ Heatwolves started a small party and music crew named Love Bang. In the last ten years, they've thrown dozens and dozens of parties, drawn hundreds of crayon-art flyers and invented wild narratives about the lives of street cats. They celebrate this weekend at Elevator with a party themed on "going back to the womb" (followed by a China tour), so I asked him and Love Bang artist 陈吸吸 about the role of nostalgia in music and in Shanghai, how one stays relevant in Shanghai for so long, and a bunch of other things that don't revolve around the boom-boom-boom (though it will definitely boom this weekend). Click the jump to read the conversation!
The prime real estate on the corner of Xiangyang Lu and Julu Lu, just under Kartel, has been a couple of things recently, including my favorite neighborhood canteen (RIP) and some Cantonese joint that didn't last long. This is what replaced it! Mixlab. It's a cocktail bar. It has Lucky Huang (Union Trading Company, Birds of Paradise) behind the bar, under a giant Bacardi logo, Bacardi championship winning drinks on the menu, and — differentiator! — a front room designed for cocktail-making classes. Make a person to drink, they'll drink for a night. Teach a person to make a drink, and they'll never fish a day in their life. Or something.
RIINK, Shanghai's only fully-dedicated roller disco is moving to better digs somewhere on Shaanxi Bei Lu. Where exactly? It's a mystery! The new location is meant to be more conveniently located (finally!) and, we're told, bigger. Great news all round for skaters, unless they lived near the old one. This is the last weekend for RIINK's current Bund Square location (which was the second Inferno before it), which means clooosing partyyy. Closing deals include buy-one-get-one skate rentals tonight (May 28), a party on Friday (May 29), an official closing party on Saturday evening (May 30), and half-off their surprisingly excellent drinks on Sunday (May 31). RIINK opens at 6pm each evening until it shuts, only to return in mid July in their new location.
Daniel An's whole empire seems built on self-indulgence. Catch him at his bars and he's likely to talk about sous-videing bourbon with cornerstore chocolate because he felt like it, or freezing dill in ice spears because he felt like it, or opening Don Club, a nightclub, because he felt like it. For someone who seems to operate on a whim, he's doing very well: this is his sixth (!) location in Shanghai and like the third or fourth in two years. This might take the cake for indulgence: after closing Don in January (and barely pausing to open RTD), Daniel An and Co. have refitted their fourth floor space into something familiar — Taste Buds, a reboot of his first cocktail lounge which closed in 2017 — with something wholly unfamiliar — a bunch of hot dogs. Yes. Dogs, which are hot, in bread. And, a little distressingly, made in-house.
Drums! Drum machines sounding in the deep! Le Cafe Des Stagiaires (phew got it first try!) is celebrating its third birthday this Saturday, May 23 down in the pit. In a way, that means Found 158 is turning three as well. CDS was among the first to see the potential for drinkan and partyan in the concrete hole in the park, and is largely responsible for it becoming everything that it is today. Birthday brunch from noon, apero from 4pm, and the full-on party from 9pm until late. That's a full twelve hours of revelry.
And while you're down there, pop over to Zapfler, who are also celebrating their third anniversary. 98rmb free-flow on beer and free German food from 3-6pm. Belgians on one side, Germans on the other, and you in the middle. Found 158: bringing people together. Wansui!
Less than a week after we found out that Scoreboard had closed, the inevitable happened: Windows' final outpost, Windows Garage, is closing tonight. Yeah. Announced in a WeChat post from the Windows Official account, which came alive for the first time since Halloween just to let us know that the other shoe has finally dropped. Why? Pandemic? Or Perry's. Who knows. The post includes no other information. Not even if there's going to be any free booze.
We're not sure when it happened, but it did. At some point in the last couple months, a Shanghai institution was relegated to the dustbin of history: Windows Scoreboard, once the crowning jewel of what has since become TX Mall, has closed. A shame. Lots of memories there. Many of them good! Some dating from after 2015, even. Horrible, phase-shifting hangovers, too, but surprisingly not as much food poisoning as you'd expect.
Shock! Horror! Surprise! Maybe not surprise, but definitely a sudden development: according to their WeChat, Arkham, a long-time fixture on the club kid circuit, is closing this weekend. For good! No "we'll be back soon" no " 'renovations' ," no "shifting to a pop-up format," just ... seven years and out, baby! They announce it proudly. Four years in the cramped confines of a concrete cage on Wulumuqi Lu, then another three in the concrete cage of Found 158. But what a concrete cage it was! They hosted in the A$AP crew, Chromeo, Will Smith Jr., Lil Yachty, DJ Snake, Thundercat, ZHU, Bohan Phoenix, the Higher Brothers (back when that was cool) — yeah man, that's not a bad line for the epitaph. Some good times were had down there. Go drink it dry on Friday & Saturday.
ALL is an unabashedly avant-garde nightclub, the successor to the much-loved Shelter, and a bit of a flashpoint in the underground music community. Its supporters are ardent that it's a cultural anchor of the city, far beyond being a place to go out and get wasted. Detractors think it's gone too avant. And now it might close. Earlier in the month, the club put out an SOS call to help it raise 300,000rmb to pay expenses including rent, or be forced to close. Promoters and artists have rushed in to organize events, including a pretty interesting-looking video exhibition titled "We Came To Linger" happening over two days this week, with nine videos very loosely related to club culture and demise. Ahead of the show, which kicks off on Wednesday May 13, I spoke to the show's curator, Alvin Li.
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