elcome to Gossip Fodder, where we babble on about new restaurants, cafes, and bars in Shanghai. This month: Wine Universe, No Name Wine, Valpasso, Swiss Butchery, and Homeslice Pizza 2. Also, a bunch of closures.
Wine Universe is a small wine bar opened by two sommeliers and a chef whose aim is to offer wines from all around the world. “I don’t want to highlight us as a natural wine bar or a burgundy wine bar,” said one of the founders Jasper Sun, formerly a sommelier at Jing An Shangri-La. “If you want a sauvignon blanc from Marlborough, we do have it.” There’s a big selection of wines by the glass, which they divide into three sections: the first portion rotates daily, the second section features premium wines such as the highly coveted Domaine de la Romanée-Conti from Burgundy, and the third section is made up of Madeira port, which you can try by the years. If you order a bottle, chances are it might come in a Qing Dynasty ceramic bowl, which they repurposed as an ice bucket. They’re still working out their food menu, but it will feature cold dishes, tapas, charcuterie, and French-influenced main courses.
769 Yuyuan Road / 愚园路769号
No Name Wine
No Name Wine is an intimate wine bar on the north end of Wanhangdu Road. Founded by four local wine lovers, inside feels almost slapdash in a fun sort of way, with cartoon wine posters on the wall and plastic tables and chairs. The wines on offer are mostly natural and from small producers, and there’s a strong emphasis on Italy and France, as well as a good selection of grower champagnes. They currently have three wines by the glass, and a decent bottle will set you back about ¥300. Go early as it fills up fast, or take bottles home for a small discount.
564-1 Wanhangdu Road / 万航渡路564-1号
Valpasso is a prosecco brand from northeast Italy that now has its own bar in Shanghai. Opened behind Lost Bakery on Julu Road, drinks consist of bubbly from the winery’s line up and cocktails from bartender Johan Holmberg, formerly of The Parrot and Wonderland. They also serve European-inspired food such as the German pizza flammkuchen, ham and cheese, and shrimp cocktails.
758 Julu Road / 巨鹿路758号
Swiss Butchery (Wulumuqi Road)
Swiss Butchery brings their high quality meats downtown with the opening of their Wulumuqi store. The butcher opened up right around the corner from Alimentari, and they’re offering never-frozen Australian beef, homemade meat specialties, cold cuts, and other imported delicacies. The staff can also provide advice on selecting and cooking your choice of cut.
86 Wulumuqi Road / 乌鲁木齐路86号
Homeslice Pizza (Yuyuan Road)
Perennial pizza favorite Homeslice expands their reach out west with the start of their second branch on Yuyuan Road. Located close to Zhongshan Park, they offer 11 pies by the slice here, and the restaurant is more eco-friendly here with ceramic plates, non-disposable cups, and paper straws. Beers on tap are also available.
1398 Yuyuan Road / 愚园路1398号
The shutdown of Dongping Road continues, with Simply Thai and Di Shui Dong going the way of Shanghai Brewery, Blackbird, The Coffee Academics, Spice Bazaar, and Glo London. According to sources, the closures are a result of the landlord, Shanghai Helvding Art School, taking back properties. As of press time, D.O.C. Gastronomia Italiana, Pirata, Sasha’s, and Zapata’s are still open, while Green & Safe confirmed they’re not affected.
Over in Xintiandi, Kabb has shuttered after 18 years in operation. The restaurant was one of the first to open in the area, and are closing after they lost the lease.
Party spots Elevator and Specters held their final shindigs last month. The Xinle Road club cited landlord issues as a reason for shutting down after two-and-a-half years, and they’re holding pop up events called Elevator Out until they find another permanent venue. For the punk rock bar Specters, they said their landlord evicted them from their Beijing Xi Road location and they’re on the hunt for a new spot.
Kung Fu Comedy had its last laugh since opening in 2010. The comedy club on Xiangyang Bei Road hasn’t released an official statement yet, but hasn’t held a show there since October 17. They also have a sign on their website saying, “We are currently not operating.”