The end of 2017 is near, and while there have been plenty of club and bar openings and bomb international guests this year, there have also been a significant amount of casualties, namely in the Fuxing Lu area. Here is our list of saddest nightclub closings of the last calendar year.
Leading the pack in this year’s closings was bomb shelter turned underground nightclub venue The Shelter, which actually closed its doors on New Years day this past January. Known for underground dance music and obscure musical and guest DJ bookings, this Yongfu Lu mainstay threw it’s last party on New Years Eve before shutting it’s doors for good. All was not lost however, and a few guys formally involved with the party hub linked up a few months later opening ALL. This new venue has been filling the void left behind by booking the same dope international DJs in a sleeker, and more grown up looking space.
This past September it was game over for Arcade, the video game-themed bar on Fuxing Lu. Started by STD co-founder Reggie Ba-Pe III the bar hung tough for about five years before allegedly becoming another casualty in the Fuxing Lu/Yongfu Lu clean-up. Perhaps in a complete 360, Ba-Pe III has opened up the chic, New York inspired lounge Empire, on The Bund.
Lasting less than a year, this one was quite possibly the most surprising closing of the year. The brainchild of two members of local DJ collective China Social Club, this little two-story space directly above C’s had all the makings of a successful bar. Between a small dance floor, plenty of seating, well-crafted drinks, banging music and even a pool table, this pre-mature closing left many scratching their heads. Still, the place might have struggled with an identity crisis of sorts, as events were scattered across the spectrum with queer nights, international DJ bookings, storytelling readings and other events that didn’t quite lend themselves to the space.
After a respectable seven year run, this grown and sexy lounge on Yongfu Lu closed its doors back in early July. The culprit was, you guessed it, politics and licensing issues as an anonymous source stated that the building was never meant to have any bars or restaurants in the first place. During it’s time the lounge was known as a sophisticated place for a good drink and live music, with the occasional themed event thrown in.
For 19 years this intimate music venue on the corner of Huaihai Zhong Lu and, you guessed it, Fuxing Lu, was the go-to place to see live music from local musicians in Shanghai. Thanks to leasing issues the music stopped this past March and the venue was forced to close their doors. From open mic nights to musician residencies and guest jam sessions with the likes of people such as Jimmy Buffett, The Cotton Club cemented itself as a blues and jazz institution. Upon closing owner Greg Smith vowed to “rise again” and while there have been several pop up events, the club has yet to open a brand new space as of yet.
URVC, also known as U R Vinyl Crazy, closed quietly this summer after an unsuccessful pivot to a Latin themed music club. The club, known for playing Disco, House, and Techno was rumored to be having leasing issues, (we know, shocking) and word around WeChat was that they were to close at the end of May. We’ll that didn’t quite happen as the club went on to try to establish themselves as some type of Latin music destination to what we can assume was little fanfare. They ended up closing up shop sometime this past summer.
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