Root Down is a Japanese vinyl bar in Shanghai that’s quickly becoming the new favorite hangout for quality cocktails and seekers of great music.
Located on Nanchang Lu, Root Down is an oddly slanted, atmospheric listening lounge dedicated to three things: vinyl, high-quality craft cocktails, and an old-school aesthetic. This relative newcomer has already achieved darling status with the F&B crowd for its relaxed vibe. It’s success is also due to the fact that founder Gary Wang is an old hand in the industry.
In charge of cocktails at is head bartender Masato “Martsu” Hika, back from Japan. The last time he was in Shanghai, he was behind the bar at Ars & Delecto. His drinks are delicious, and expensive (signatures start at ¥115 and work their way up to ¥130). Be careful; his love for absinthe is infectious, and not a little dangerous.
The turntable and enormous speakers are apparently vintage pieces that owner Gary found in Shanghai. The sound is great; sitting at the bar, the sound wraps around you like a warm blanket, but they keep the volume low enough so you can maintain a conversation without trouble.
They’ve just had DJs down from Beijing’s record haven fRUITY Shop to spin some wax, too.
Why You Should Go
The ambience is chicken soup for the cement soul and the drinks are a delight from concept to preparation to service to the morning after. Martsu knows his stuff. Go for a soothing nightcap set to a good soundtrack.
Address: 145 Nanchang Lu, near Ruijin Er Lu 南昌路145号, 近瑞金二路
Hours: Mon-Tue, 7pm-1:30am; Wed-Thu, 3pm-1:30am; Fri-Sun, 3pm-2am