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The Grand Bar Flow Hotel is a Crazy Crazy Bar (Not a Hotel)

Dec 28, 2018 | 10:37 Fri
Photos: Yiqing Zheng
Just months after opening a noodle shop-cum-cocktail lounge, Bar Flow presents its sophomore effort, the speakeasy Grand Bar Flow Hotel.

In tribute to Wes Anderson's film, Grand Budapest Hotel, the false front is a concierge desk, complete with old-fashioned room keys hanging on the wall. A disco mix rattles the paper thin walls. Picking up the phone on the counter unlocks an electronically sealed door. It opens to a room of brass luggage trolleys carrying plexi-glass trunks of faux pearls, plastic gold bars… and bitcoins? They are tables. Waiters in double-breasted bellhop coats are there to take your order.


The bar is in the next room and seats no more than six. But I suspect you don't really come here to drink. Rather, you're here to snap selfies to post on your wanghong Weibo account. They've provided three unique backdrops for just this purpose. One is a "bedroom" booth piled up with pillows and white feathers scattered about the floor. It looks like the aftermath of a high-class slumber party pillow fight. There is a "spa" booth with salon-style overhead hairdryers mounted overhead. And then there is the "bathroom" booth with a heart-shaped bathtub ball pit.


Form predictably precedes function when it comes to drinks. The main menu features classic mixes like the Manhattan and the Caipirinha for 100rmb a pop. Neither justifies that price tag. A separate list of signature cocktails printed on a deck of oversized cards is available too. Flavors skew sweet, presentations elaborate. They serve one drink in a glass milk carton, for instance. Another is meant to resemble a bowl of porridge. Prices are the same (100rmb) but you're getting more bang for your social media buck if you order these.


Regrettably, I can't say the same for flavor. Still, if pictures trump technique, you may want to check in.

The Grand Bar Flow Hotel, No 121, Lane 1520 Huashan Lu near Xingfu Lu.


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