205 Wulumuqi Nan Lu / near Zhaojiabang Lu / Xuhui / +86 150 0063 6841 / 6pm-1am daily
Where 2012 seemed to be the year of the ‘speakeasy’, in 2013 it’s all about artisanal gin-focused drinkeries, just take for example Hong Kong’s Origin
, Shanghai’s seafood-and-spirit hotspot Plump Oyster
, Barcelona’s Ultramarinos and Chicago’s Scofflaw to name but a few.
It seems only natural then the group behind Shanghai’s ultra-hip and loungey late-nighter Lola would be one of the first to embrace the burgeoning trend, but don’t expect DJs and dancefloors at sister gastro bar-restaurant Loco – the focus here remains firmly on the Spanish-inflected eats and the largest gin selection in the city.
In the sophisticated front-of-house bar, guests can spy over the marble-topped counter the more than 40 premium gins on offer, including classic Martin Miller’s, citrus-y Gilbey’s, sloe berry-steeped Hayman’s and Bitter Truth, plus many more hard-to-find-in-Shanghai brands.
The extensive G&T list incorporates new-school derivatives of the cocktail staple – with everything from peach nectar to egg whites making appearances alongside the favoured mixer, Fever Tree Tonic. Out back the sleek study continues, with a modern dining room of burnt orange and plum furnishings, chocolate leather banquettes and warm exposed brick playing backdrop to classic Spanish tapas (pinotxos, croquetas, charcuterie) – also available at the bar – and fine-dining plates (Iberian pork cheek with porcini, mille-feuille of beef tenderloin with foie gras, paella). Go Loco!