The buzz: Shanghai's most legendary jazz bar re-opens after almost three years of renovation, making the relaunch of the historic Peace Hotel complete.
The look: The aim of the renovation was to replicate the original look of the bar during the 1920's. Even though none of us had been to Sir Victor Sassoon's famous Horse & Hound bar (the precedessor of The Jazz Bar) decades ago, we definitely felt the glamour of Shanghai's golden days when we walked through that door. Patterned wooden floor and grand stone columns are full of grace, while heavy curtains and exquisite chandeliers spell a touch of decadence. The long bar is facing directly at the stage, making it the perfect spot to watch the bands.
The music: Everybody loves the Old Jazz Band, the long-time resident band here made of seven musicians over 70 years old (the oldest member boasts of a whopping age of 92). You won't hear much improvision in their jazz music, but you'll moved by their passion and devotion when they perform such old-time gems like 'Ye Shanghai' and 'The Moon Represents My Heart'.
The more serious jazz fans can get their satisfaction from Theo Croker Sextet, the bar's new resident band on stage after their much older predecessors. A brilliant trumpet player, Croker is one of the brightest new stars in America's nu-jazz scene. Infused with different musical elements, his 'progressive' jazz style is the perfect companion for your late-night Cosmo.
The crowd: An older mix of local jazz fans and tourists during the Old Jazz Band's sessions from 7.30pm to 10pm , and a younger and more casual crowd after 10.30pm when Theo Croker Sextet hit the stage.
The drinks: A long list of classic cocktails mixed by bartenders in white shirts and waistcoats, starting from 88rmb (plus 15% service fee).
Why you'll be back: To get a real piece of Old Shanghai. - Stella Shu