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.

Root Down is a cocktail bar in Shanghai that does excellent drinks and plays vinyl.  @ Nomfluence.

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.

Root Down is a cocktail bar in Shanghai that does excellent drinks and plays vinyl.  @ Nomfluence.

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.

Root Down is a cocktail bar in Shanghai that does excellent drinks and plays vinyl.  @ Nomfluence.
Piquant Mezcalita (¥115) – A spicy Mezcal gimlet with coconut chips and basil leaf. Piquant, spicy and a surprising depth to it.
Root Down is a cocktail bar in Shanghai that does excellent drinks and plays vinyl.  @ Nomfluence.
Root Down (¥130) – A take on a Sazerac, featuring Buttered Rum, maple syrup, a spray of absinthe, bitters and a cube of raw chocolate. Bold, funky, a little sweet, and like Sazracs, divisive.

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.

Root Down is a cocktail bar in Shanghai that does excellent drinks and plays vinyl.  @ Nomfluence.

They’ve just had DJs down from Beijing’s record haven fRUITY Shop to spin some wax, too.

Why You Should Go

Root Down is a cocktail bar in Shanghai that does excellent drinks and plays vinyl.  @ Nomfluence.

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.


Root Down
Address: 145 Nanchang Lu, near Ruijin Er Lu 南昌路145号, 近瑞金二路
Tel: 64315374
Hours: Mon-Tue, 7pm-1:30am; Wed-Thu, 3pm-1:30am; Fri-Sun, 3pm-2am