Second Sip: Beedee's

What: Shanghai’s jam bar gets a facelift
Why: Live music, decent prices and community spirit
How much: Bottled beers RMB 30 upwards; Draft Tiger RMB 40; cocktails RMB 40
Where: 433 Dagu Lu, near Chengdu Bei Lu. Tel: 6327 3160

In its heyday, Beedee’s was an integral part of Shanghai’s music scene, noted for attracting local musicians to the open jams on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Bands coalesced out of these sessions, often coming to play there on weekends as well. It was a friendly environment, full of regulars, many of whom were immortalised in a series of portraits on the walls. But after years of ravaging the 12-bar blues week after week, Beedee’s was worn out. New bars like DClub and Sugar began offering their own jam nights which served to further deflate Beedee’s former glory. Earlier this year, the bar said goodbye for good with one last jam. But instead of entering the hazy annals of Shanghai nightlife history, Beedee’s is back.

The new manager and part owner of the bar is an old customer of Beedee’s. After getting a taste for the Shanghai bar business with a stint managing the perennial blues bar Cotton Club, he’s set out to return Beedee’s to its former glory. His strategy is simple: “run a clean bar”, as those who remember the previous Beedee’s will recall that it wasn’t exactly known for its cleanliness.

The walls have been repainted, air circulation systems replaced and (mostly) new furniture brought in. In general, the bar now feels a lot less cluttered, and a window has been added to the front door, giving the bar a much less shady vibe. It’s also been classed up with an expanded wine selection beyond the former ‘Red’ and ‘White’.

Musicians will be delighted to know that the sound system has been replaced from the bottom up, and on a recent jam night, the music had a refreshing ring to it. New musicians on the new equipment infuse the place with a new energy.

And with Tiger drafts for RMB 20 and house pours for RMB 30 all night long on jam nights, it’s worth going to check it out again.

that’s somehow, inexplicably clean. Oh, and they’ve got Italian advertisements and movie posters thrown up here and there as well. It is an Italian bar, after all. 


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