24 Jan 2006
Windows is a “chain” of bars in Shanghai. The original Windows bar was so successful that Windows Too was opened, followed by Windows Tembo and Windows Scoreboard. A segment of the Shanghai population considers Windows trashy, and not without reason. I still think Windows is not bad at all, though, for the following reasons:
1. The drinks are really cheap. 10 rmb gin and tonics! All drinks are 10 or 20 rmb. (Drinks in most Shanghai bars start at 30 or 40, and I’m not talking about the expensive bars).
2. Even on Sunday night when other bars are deserted, the place gets pretty packed.
3. Cheap drinks!
4. People dance. It’s just a fun atmosphere. (No snobs in Windows!)
5. Drinks… cheap!
Since the Windows model has obviously been successful enough to open three additional bars, I wonder why more bars aren’t copying it. The model is basically: (1) cheap drinks, (2) popular hip hoppish music. Nothing remotely fancy or difficult. As best as I can guess, the model is not being copied because (1) bar owners like to be pretentious, and (2) most people in Shanghai like pretentious bars. (They call it “class” but they’re not fooling me.)
Windows Too is a bar in Shanghai I have had fun at on multiple occasions. I can’t really say the same about any other bar except for the now gone Tanghui and the legendary Excalibur Rocks behind the Portman, which I found out the other day has already disappeared into some new construction site (don’t cry, Greg). Of course, the best time I ever had at Excalibur Rocks was largely due to one Jamie Doom, but that’s another story…