In only a couple of years, Yongfu Lu has changed from a miniscule blip on the Shanghai expat map to a loud, late night (early morning) loitering hangout.
I’ve only been here for six years, so I’ll start from there. Yongfu Lu, between Fuxing Lu and Wuyuan Lu, grew from all-you-can-drink Blue Ice nasties, to grand Shelter hopes, and now, depending on one’s perspective, has flourished into streams of punters sucking on sweet rum, all types of music from bongos to house, and upscale cocktail lounges like El Coctel.
I thought I’d turn the clock forward a few hours into the day and introduce a different side of Yongfu Lu; brighten it’s reputation for you a little, perhaps.
1984 Book Store
So, not technically Yongfu Lu, but right at the tip of it. 1984 Book Store lives behind a solemn black grill. After a doorbell, it opens up into a sweet little bookstore, mismatched furniture galore, and a large, bright and innocent garden.
11 Hunan Lu near Yongfu Lu
Once upon a time it was the British Consulate. Now it’s a rambling mansion that indulges in the art deco, brocade side of things. Drinks aren’t fantastic, though the food’s a little better. But you’re not here for that. You’re here to be surrounded by drapery and nostalgia. Members only upstairs for those who can afford it.
200 Yongfu Lu
German Consulate Guards
The most straight-faced in the city.
181 Yongfu Lu
One of my favorite lanes in this part of the expat bubble. Everyone’s happy hanging outside and the bikinis at Ambassy can be seen from prime vantage point.
Amazingly tailored clothing with a definite Chinese identity. Behind a simple black iron door in a ground floor apartment.
70 Yongfu Lu
You probably already know this one. Japanese bar that’s quieter than the ones up the road.
127 Yongfu Lu
Condom Vending Machine
Maybe you know this one too. 1RMB.
SE corner of Fuxing Lu and Yongfu Lu
Little Cookie Pet’s Camp
The best puppy/kitten perving spot in the concession. Uncontrollable mass of animal tenants are always a welcoming bunch.
51 Yongfu Lu
This lane got the good end of the French Concession stick with the most manicured slabs of concrete on the block. Very quiet, and a good little shortcut toward Wulumuqi Lu and your favorite Avocado Lady.
Being 3 Gallery
Young artists get a chance at this sweet art gallery behind very high white walls. The white gate’s not always signposted.
2 Yongfu Lu
My Favorite Plant Lady
Also not technically on Yongfu. But this lady deserves a mention for her great spread of flora and fauna. Plus, she has a mynah bird that either says ‘huan ying guang ling’ or ‘bai bai’ depending on your likeability factor. Don’t feel so bad, it’s just a bird.
200ish Wuyuan Lu near Yongfu Lu, Just south of the Lanzhou La Mian