Sober Company reopens in Shanghai
Award-winning Shanghai cocktail bar Sober Company has reopened in a new location after closing 16 months ago.
First opened in 2017 by Shingo Gokan (founder of The SG Group, as well as two Shanghai bars, The Odd Couple and Speak Low), the bar closed in June last year, but is now back in business, situated within the INS complex by Fuxing Park.
Much like Sober Company’s previous iteration, the space is split between multiple concepts; Sober Kissa, Sober Izakaya, and Sober Sakaba, plus the return of hidden bar Tipsy (which requires guests to collect tokens at the venue’s other sections to gain entry).
The space opens with Kissa on the first floor, which is inspired by kissa bars, a type of Japanese venue where guests can enjoy drinks while listening to vinyl records. The space will offer ‘kissa-inspired’ cocktails including a Melon Ramos Fizz and a Milk Tea Alexander, as well as a range of coffee cocktails and a selection made with the group’s shochu.
Upstairs on the second floor is Sober Izakaya, a neon-lit 15-seater dining space. The menu, designed by the executive chef at Tokyo’s The Bellwood, Ayaka Terai, includes hand-rolled sushi prepared from the counter, an omakase set and small bites such as fried chicken nanban and truffle mentai mac and cheese with spicy cod roe. As the night progresses, Gokan says on weekends this area will transform into a “lively bar scene” with DJs.
Also on the second floor sits Sakaba, a cocktail bar where classics are reimagined with touches from various Japanese cities – for instance, the Kobe sees an Old Fashioned garnished with Kobe beef and the Osaka tops a Bloody Mary with octopus and bonito flakes, a nod to the city’s signature snack of takoyaki (fried octopus balls). Guests will also be able to enjoy favourite dishes from the former Sober Company here, including the foie gras mapo tofu.
Tipsy’s location is kept a secret – but buy enough drinks and you’ll eventually be granted entry. After all, the bar’s motto is ‘come sober, leave tipsy’.
In other bar news, London Cocktail Week co-founders Hannah Sharmon-Cox and Siobhan Payne, along with Global Bartending founder Dan Dove, established The Pinnacle Guide, which allows bars to apply for similar recognition to that of the restaurant industry’s Michelin Stars.