Classic grandeur of famed bar in heritage building evokes the privileged lifestyle of the elite in 1920’s Shanghai
October 29th, 2012
The famous Long Bar at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai is a grand “old-school” style of bar that recreates the opulent lifestyle of the colonial elites of Shanghai in the 1920’s and 30’s. The heritage listed building on the riverfront promenade of The Bund in Shanghai was originally built in 1910 to house the Shanghai Club- the ultra-exclusive preserve of British gentlemen. The grand “baroque revival” style 6 storey edifice was originally complete with dining room, billiards room, smoking room, library, guest rooms, and the Long Bar on the second floor. The impressive dark mahogany, marble-topped, L-shaped bar extended 110ft x 39ft, and was, at the time of opening in 1910, recognised as the longest bar in the world. After being abandoned in 1941 the club building went through numerous iterations, including as a KFC restaurant in the 1990’s, until the building was taken over in 2009 by the Waldorf Astoria hotel brand of the Hilton Worldwide hotel group and comprehensively refurbished. When it opened in 2011 the “new” Waldorf Astoria Club reclaimed the heritage building’s place among the most luxurious properties in Shanghai.
The Long Bar has enjoyed considerable popularity since its re-inception into the elite echelons of Shanghai nightlife, and with a limited seating capacity of 80 seats, the Long Bar is frequently fully booked. The bar service is thoroughly professional with the classically uniformed staff providing a discrete yet warm service to customers. In addition to embracing the fine traditions of the “golden age” of cocktails, jazz music is featured nightly at the Long Bar– with regular performances by international artistes, supplemented nightly by the resident DJ.
The classic, understated elegance of the Long Bar interior evokes the origins of the room when it was the main bar for the members of the exclusive Shanghai Club in the early decades of the 20th Century.
The interior style of the Long Bar is an accurate re-creation of the club bar of the 1920’s and 30’s with the dark mahogany timbers of the bar, wall panelling and cabinetry contrasting with the white ceilings and white marble bar counter top. Overhead, ceiling fans silently circulate the air. The furnishings feature luxurious leather armchairs and sofas, with plush leather and heavy timber bar stools standing along the bar front. The seating at the east end of the room enjoys views framed by the curtained windows overlooking The Bund promenade and Huangpu river. At the opposite, far end of the room, the Oyster Bar is a highlight- showcasing fresh air-flown premium oysters.
The impressive white marble topped bar counter extends down almost the entire length of the room- spanning 34 metres
Photo taken in 1912 of the original Long Bar in the Shanghai Club. At that time it was recognised as the longest bar in the world.
The internal end of the Long Bar room features the Oyster Bar.
The Oyster Bar showcases selections of the finest seasonally fresh oysters, plus caviar, foie gras, and other creative bar bites.
At the end of the room nearest The Bund frontage, the band area separates the main bar space and the front lounge seating zone. International musicians regularly perform live jazz music, supplemented nightly by the resident DJ.
The centrepiece of the room features a large dark mahogany table with exquisite floral decoration. The timber panelling and cabinets behind the bar have been meticulously crafted to accurately replicate the original fixtures.
The beautiful Grand Hall lobby of the Waldorf Astoria Club building- faithfully restored to the original grandeur of the heritage building’s past.
The discrete glass-panelled doorway to the Long Bar opens off the main lobby level of the Waldorf Astoria Club.
Selected Cocktails from the Drinks Menu
The Drinks List at the Long Bar encompasses an extensive selection of classic and signature cocktails, complemented by an impressive list of single malts. Premium spirits, beers, wines and champagnes are all available.
The cocktails include selections of “Waldorf Astoria Signature Cocktails” that have their origins in the cocktails served at the iconic New York Waldorf Astoria hotel back in the early 20th Century. Notable drinks include the WALDORF– Rye Whiskey, Absinthe, Sweet Vermouth & Bitters; OLD FASHIONED – WALDORF ASTORIA STYLE– Bourbon, Cane Sugar, Orange Peel & Bitters; and the WALDORF QUEEN – CUBA CIRCA 1927– Gin, Pineapple, Sweet vermouth, Dry vermouth.
MARTINIS are also highlighted on the drinks list with a wide variety of classic premium gin and vodka based martinis offered. Martin cocktails include ESPRESSO MARTINI– Vodka, Coffee Liqueur, Espresso; and LYCHEE MARTINI– Vodka, Lychee Liqueur, Lychee & Grapefruit Bitter.
Other cocktails feature APERTIFS, CHAMPAGNE COCKTAILS, and a large selection of the CLASSICS that originated in the “Golden Age” of cocktails.
The bar food menu is headlined by the fresh oyster selections showcased in the ice displays of the Oyster Bar. Other options include foie gras, caviar, and classic bar dishes such as the Waldorf Salad, sandwiches, and platters for sharing.
OLD FASHIONED- WALDORF ASTORIA STYLE– Bourbon, Cane Sugar, Bitters, garnished with orange peel. Waldorf Astoria Signature Cocktail.
WALDORF QUEEN – CUBA CIRCA 1927- Gin, Pineapple, Sweet vermouth, Dry vermouth. Waldorf Astoria Signature Cocktail.
ZAZA– Gin, Dubonnet & Bitters. Waldorf Astoria Signature Cocktail
Long Bar- at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on The Bund
Address: Waldorf Astoria Club, Lobby Level, No.2 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, Huang Pu District, Shanghai 200002. China
Metro: Line 10 East Nanjing Rd
Enquiries: +86.21. 6322 9988
Monday to Saturday 4:00 pm ~ 01:00 am
Sunday 2:00 pm ~ 01:00 am
Entertainment: Jazz music – live musicians and resident DJ
Dress code: Smart casual, business