Words by Theodora Sutcliffe on 15-Jun-2015
51 Fenyang Lu, (near Fuxing Zhong Lu), Shanghai, China
Tel: +86 188 0177 7008
Website: Not supplied
Hours: Mon-Sun 6pm-2am
Door: Open door
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: Middling
Food: Bar snacks
A startlingly convincing barber shop forms the frontage of this speakeasy - perhaps "inspired" by Mike Enright's The Barber Shop in Sydney. A two-way mirrored door leads to a warren of brick-built rooms, some smoking, some non-smoking: the pine-scented sauna-type space out back is slated to open as a Tiki bar in summer 2016.
While some Shanghai speakeasies can be on the sombre side, Barber Shop has a sense of fun: bouncy big band, swing and jazz keep the clientele buzzing. The menu ticks the classic boxes but injects plenty of fun with 70s drinks like the Blue Hawaiian and Tokyo Fizz sitting alongside the Boulevardier and the Vesper. House creations feature ingredients from soy milk to wolfberry vodka. I liked the splendidly smoky Monkey Business, with Havana 7, Jerry Thomas bitters, P/X sherry, Averna and barrel-aged Bénédictine DOM, delivered by super-efficient table servers.