OK, so I went to the Gulou area a few days ago to talk to Michael Ohlsson about his new bar Dada – sibling of the three-year-old venue of the same name in Shanghai – and then lost all of my carefully written notes. I’m blaming it on the Fig Old-Fashioned I later had at Mao Mao Chong. Or maybe it was the martini before at 12SQM: we did have to test out the new bartender on this essential drink, after all.
Anyway, I’m going by memory here….
Dada is in the same alley as Eje Beer Club, Jam and Temple, and is downstairs from that last one. The place is centered around a square bar and has a decor I wanted to describe as “warm industrial” — see photo below. Ohlsson says it is primarily a “DJ Club” — intensive sound system testing was under way while I was there. He also says he plans to host some cultural events – one idea he mentioned is a fair to bring together local cheese makers, sausage makers, and so on.
The drinks are reasonably priced. If memory serves, the list has over a dozen beer options, ranging from Tsingtao at rmb20 to the likes of Duvel at rmb45. Dada will also have Kirin and Vedett White on tap. Mixed drinks start at rmb25, cocktails at rmb30. And while Dada is already in testing stage, and been open for music and drinks, the official launch is August 18.
Upstairs, Ohlsson is working on a cafe and lounge, which is still about a month from completion. Expect a backyard patio feel, given the bricks, the tree-like structures and the deck-style flooring, among other features. He says it will act as a cafe during the day but at night also be a place where you can order or bring up drinks from downstairs. It comes with a full kitchen and a private room that will be useful for people looking for a place for meetings or small events.
I’ll be back soon, with a new notebook, for more on these places.