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Shanghai Brew House Returns To Downtown Right Across From Jing'an Temple

Not be mistaken for Shanghai Brewery.
Apr 13, 2020 | 12:15 Mon
Photos: Brandon McGhee
On The Radar: On the Radar is a SmartShanghai column profiling new restaurants, bars, and other new places you might like to know about. Sometimes we stumble across these venues and sometimes... we are invited. As such, these are our first impressions and not a formal review.
Shanghai Brew House, not to be mistaken for "Shanghai Brewery." The two parted ways back in 2018 over "creative differences." It was the burgers! The charcoal black burger buns were too divisive. Anyway, the two kept to their neighborhoods after the split: Shanghai Brewery stayed put on Donghu Lu, while Shanghai Brew House kept Hongmei Lu running and then massively expanded with Ala Town last year. Last weekend, Shanghai Brew House rolled back into the downtown with a new spot spread across two floors at the refurbished Wheelock Plaza.

I've been out to the others a couple of times in the last few years. My best impression is that they're friendly, reliable options for the residents of Changning and Minhang.



But this is Jing'an, baby! Downtown! We need style! We need flair! Brew houses might be good enough out there, but over here we need a gastropub.



Infinity mirrors in the bathroom? Bold and instagram-worthy. iPad menus? Nifty, shame I can't use it to order. Foil-coated ceiling like the inside of a moon lander and a glowing pipework roof sculpture? Very retrofuturist. Plenty of warm yellow light but points docked for no Edison lightbulbs.



The buns might be charcoal black but it takes more than a burger gimmick to tussle with Boxing Cat and Goose Island (hail Goose) in this neighborhood. What you got, Shanghai Brew House?

Why, is that a sneaker store in the lobby?



So downtown.



So it's a little weird the second floor has a Toni&Guy, but hey, it's all right. This building used to have a bookstore in a restaurant. Shanghai Brew House has enough craft-beeriness in it to avoid being a soulless bar chain, but not so much that they feel they can charge an arm and a leg for a pint. Most 500ml beers hover around 50rmb. The beer remains a-okay, the fusion-y pub grub doesn't overstep its limits, the atmosphere is unpretentious despite the pipework ceiling sculpture, and they even have a little terrace with a nice view of Jing'an Temple. I like it. I'll be back.

***

Shanghai Brew House is on the ground floor of Wheelock Square, at 1717 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Huashan Lu. They have 50% off everything until April 17 as part of the soft-opening. An actual soft opening!

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