Step into Shanghai Social Club for a journey out of Allston

Credit: Derek Kouyoumjian

Walking into a really good bar or restaurant is like embarking on a journey. Whether that journey takes you to another time and place altogether, an oasis in which to leave your work day behind, or simply off the gross streets of Allston all depends on the specifics. At Shanghai Social Club, they’re hoping to accomplish all of the above.

“We really wanted to have the music, the lighting and the ambience kind of transport you to another place,” manager Bill Golden explains. “You come in, walk down the stairs, off one of the busiest streets in greater Boston, walk through the authentic Chinese doors, into the nice, deep red lighting, and you start to get transported. Next thing you know you forget where you are, you’re in that time period, that era, place.”

As for whether the restaurant, which opened in August in the old Our House space, actually nails that authenticity is hard to say – I’ve never been to pre-prohibition Shanghai. But one thing it does do is stand out from the glut of standard, fratty bar options nearby, many of which — like The White Horse Tavern, The Avenue, and others — are owned by the same people. “Everything around here is very open, very airy, with windows that open up, TVs everywhere, sports on, that same menu. We’re different than that,” Golden says.

Credit: Derek Kouyoumjian

He’s right about that. The compartmentalized layout of the room — with private dining rooms, tucked away alcoves and lounge seating all bedecked with ornamental Chinese statues, low candle light and sexy ambience to spare — feels much more Back Bay than the collegiate bro-date style most places in the neighborhood adhere to.

That’s exactly the post-college market they want, Golden says. “Up until we opened there weren’t really a lot of places they could go and have a dinner with level of service we’re offering. Same thing with cocktail program. People who have been coming in are a little more sophisticated drinkers than what we see at our other locations.”

What those sophisticates are drinking is a selection of tiki classics, many inspired by the genre’s founding father, Don the Beachcomber – Mai Tais, Fogcutters, Zombies, Painkillers and the like.

Credit: Derek Kouyoumjian

Originals like Foo Dogs Barking — made with bourbon, lime, ginger syrup, Falernum and Angosturra — are boozy, spicy fun, like tiki should be. Options like the Tiki Merchant — made with aged Bols Genever, Ron Zacapa Centenario rum, Lillet Blanc, Lustao sherry and Bittermens Tiki Bitters — show a commitment to constructing a cocktail list with the right building blocks. And, while I wouldn’t rave about this place as top of the line craft tiki joint, there is no denying that its arrival marked a big step up for the neighborhood. That’s a journey of ascension worth starting.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy - U.S.…

By Curtis Skinner(Reuters) - Dogs are a man's best friend, and research released on Wednesday says canines want to keep it that way.Dogs are capable…

Local

G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

International

Peaches Geldof's death was drugs-related, coroner rules

LONDON (Reuters) - The death of Peaches Geldof, the daughter of musician and Band Aid founder Bob Geldof, was drugs-related, a coroner ruled on Wednesday.The…

Local

Family, supporters gather in Brooklyn for Eric Garner…

Family members gathered on Wednesday for the funeral of Eric Garner, who died shortly after police put him in a banned chokehold as they arrested him.

Going Out

Where to go drinking on National Tequila Day…

Thursday is just close enough to the end of the week to make you envision yourself already sunning on a beach towel or lounging by…

Going Out

Things to do in NYC this week: July…

Performing arts A 70’s Summer Night Friday, 6:30 p.m. The Green Building 452 Union St., Gowanus $35, 347-529-6473 Party like it’s summer in the 1970s…

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

MLB

Brandon McCarthy finds his calling on Twitter

Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy joined Twitter three year ago for the same reason many people do: to get news quickly.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

Food

Recharge with a post-workout smoothie from Nicky Hilton

Some people can roll out of bed right as their alarm goes off. And that alarm isn’t set for 20 minutes before they have to…

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Career

How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…