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Nightlife Trends In Shanghai

Janet Yu 2017-02-08 09:24

Vape Bars

Tobacco has a special place in the tapestry of Shanghai’s past - in those old Shanghainese black-and-white movies, you can always nd the femme fatales smoking in the scene, even the famous writer Lu Xun couldn’t quit smoking. You can even nd a Tobacco Museum in Shanghai! However, we’re all well aware of the dangers of smoking, so it’s not surprising that more and more people and turning to an alternative: vaping. Vaping was hardly on anyone’s radar only two years ago, but it gained popularity fast; vape stores have emerged on streets to shopping malls and senior business districts in Shanghai. It is even now becoming a symbol. Not only because when compared to cigarettes, vaping is healthier and environmentally friendly, but also because the bosses of vape stores manage their businesses like shisha bars - they gather Shang- hai smokers in their stores, and talk about product speci cations, such as the battery size, the types of atomizer and e-liquid. They treat vaping like the classic cigar and pipe. With the promotion of vape bars that pay attention to social interaction, vape culture, which originates from Europe and the US, has attracted quite a following in Shanghai. There are physical stores developed from online societies such as Shanghai Vape. And there are vape leisure clubs that focus on entertainment, like Vape Robot. These modern places gather Chinese and foreign players, new and old smokers together. A powerful trend was formed in the culture of this Magic City.


Hidden in Plain Sight

The whole story probably started from the famous coke vending machine door at Flask.
The popularity of bars in Shanghai is dynamic. Those most popular ones all claim their own advantages. In the age of information, speak- easies show their unique attractions to night timers. Flask's founding artist, Alberto Caiola, understood this rule and hid the bar behind a door made of a fake coke vending machine, using a normal sandwich shop as its cover. With some mysterious details about the period of 1920s' Prohibition America, Flask stood under the spotlight of night Shanghai for more than one year. Even though Flask has been closed down for half a year till now, it still in uences new bars in Shanghai. As for the representative, you must follow secret stairs besides a bar equipment shop on middle Fuxing road, then nd the entry of Speak Low behind a bookcase gear. The bartenders provide exclusive cock- tails according to the tastes of different customers.


If you pay a little more attention to it, you will nd that the "hidden" concept is used in many newly opened or modi ed bars. And some also have a more “low-key” and “retro” vibe, such as the underground beer bar located in Lujiazui, The Exchange, and the 1960s America retro themed bar, Shake. Besides of that, The Devil's Share and The Tailor Bar are also the ones are waiting for you to "discover".

Academic Spirits

What kind of spirits do you like? If you ask 100 people on the streets, you will get 100 different answers. Some people like whiskey, while some prefer champagne. Maybe, only in Shanghai, all preferences can be treated properly; there are special bars in Shanghai with collections of whiskies across a range of avors, from Rye, Bourbon to Single Malt.


Compared with pursuing pleasure, customers prefer to taste and appreciate whiskey with an academic spirit. Other alcohol fans learned this attitude too and so sparked a series of single alcohol-type bar openings in Shanghai recently. From Champagne bars, Punch bars, Sparkling Wine bars to various Craft Beer bars, you can nd any bars in your imagination here.
Of course, there are some extreme examples, such as Rakia Bar that closes 
at 8pm every day. Rakia is distilled fruit liquor produced on the Balkan Peninsula and is the national drink of Serbia. A white wall holds a variety

of different avors of Rakia sealed in conical asks, waiting for customers to experience. The cold and distant atmosphere with the feel of a chemical laboratory makes you feel the crazy obsession to this unknown liquor of the bar owner.


Another extreme example is famous for the variety of drink types. It is said that Brew Bear collects more than 1000 types of beer, and the Beer Auntie (formerly Haifu Convenience Store) sells more than 1200 types of beer from all over the world. Compared with a bar only for simple recreation, these bars owned by alcohol nuts are more like fancy museums fully lled with treasures.


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