Award-winning cocktail bar Sober Company has reopened inside Fuxing Park, Shanghai.
What’s the space like? Are the drinks different? What’s there to eat? Is Tipsy open? All these questions answered below.
About Sober Company
Award-winning cocktail bar and restaurant Sober Company has reopened at the INS building inside Fuxing Park. The World’s 50 Best Bar has kept some of its original concepts with some new additions, including a sushi bar as well as new drinks and food.
The reopening of Sober Company has been more than a year’s wait. The original location closed on June 26, 2022. At the time of its closure, Sober Company was #39 on the World’s 50 Best Bars and #11 on the Asia’s list. Sober Company is the brainchild of Shingo Gokan, a celebrated bartender and bar owner with multiple awards under his belt for his skill and cocktail bars.
Sober Company is located inside Fuxing Park on the park-facing ground level of the INS building. The first floor is home to Kissa, the casual coffee-cocktail space with a bar, seating area, and elevated platform that overlooks the space, and a sushi bar, Izakaya, in the back. There’s also some outdoor seating.
Upstairs is Sakaba, the restaurant and cocktail bar. It certainly feels more like a restaurant lounge than a cocktail bar, though.
Somewhere on the second floor is a “hidden” bar, one that’s hinted in their motto, “come sober, leave Tipsy.”
They’ll reintroduce their “collect all the tokens” challenge after their official opening date, October 31. You’ll need to redeem tokens at each of their bars (with the consumption of a drink) in order to gain access to Tipsy. It was a popular lure, “to make it to Tipsy,” and I assume it’ll continue to be a draw for some. Unlike the bespoke experience of the previous location, Tipsy will have a menu featuring classic Japanese cocktails with a twist.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, the original Sober Company had four main concepts (Sober Kitchen & Sober Society = Sakaba, Sober Cafe = Kissa, and Tipsy), all listed above except for the sushi bar, simply called Izakaya, which is a new addition.
The Sushi Bar
Awash in neon red and blue, Izakaya accommodates up to 15 at a wide counter overlooking the prep station. On the menu are maki-style sushi, unconventional hand rolls of red vinegar seasoned rice with toppings inspired by international cities.
The following are the items on the Omakase set:
Sushi rolls are available a la carte (from ¥60) or as an “omakase” set of five with dessert for ¥240. The omakase also has a sake pairing option, ¥150 for three tasting glasses. Sober Company aims to do three seatings with the last one towards 10pm.
The sushi bar food is still in its early stages of development. Personally, I thought there wasn’t much distinction between each roll in terms of flavor or playfulness. And as I understand it, there are still some adjustments being made to both portion and taste. Check back in a month or so, unless your curiosity gets the better of you.
Kissa has its own food and drinks menu. Cocktails (¥85-¥120), more than a dozen to choose from, are mostly low-ABV, light on alcohol, making them easy sippers.
Food at Kissa is snacky. Light bites to nibble on and sushi.
Onto the second floor for Sakaba.
Cocktails at Sakaba take cues and inspiration from Japanese cities, 10 signature cocktails priced at ¥120 to ¥130 each. Some of the drinks are from SG Club (Tokyo, also Asia’s 50 Best) while others are new creations.
In comparison to Kissa, drinks here are way more creative. As for food, there is some crossover from Kissa and second-floor-only dishes that are slightly more substantial but still snacky.
They’ve also kept two of their signature dishes, the uni bone marrow mazemen (¥238) and foie gras mapo tofu (¥168).
All the drinks on both floors are delicious, well-balanced, and impossible to not like, flavor and spirit preference depending, of course. However, they’re often more petit than I would expect.
There you have it! The A-to-Z of what’s new at Sober Company.
Additional interior images courtesy of Sober Company.
Address: F106, 1-2/F, 109 Yandang Lu 雁荡路109号1-2楼F106
Hours: Tue-Sun, 6pm-2am