​Facing onto Yuyao Lu is Glory, a three-story concept from a man that should make the top five on any list of Shanghai bartenders—Cross Yu (E.P.I.C.).

Glory, a cocktail bar in Jing'an by Shanghai bartender Cross Yu. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

His latest is retro-futuristic, multi-functional, built on music, laidback energy and an accomplished list of cocktails (with some food to boot).

The Space

Cross Yu, bartender in Shanghai.
Cross Yu, DMBA 2019 Bartender of the Year

Opened late last year but still fine-tuning, Glory describes itself as an “energy field,” and it has enough personality to pull that off. A lot of it comes down to the creative juices and attention to detail of the boss, Cross Yu, creator of stalwart cocktail bar E.P.I.C. and—as he often likes to say—doer of “EPIC shit.”

In practice, Glory manifests as three floors: on the first floor, a multi-functional café, art and event space serving a mix of funky snacks, some natural wine, and a couple of cocktails on tap. There’s also a terrace that overlooks Tacolicious’ patio. (Also pet-friendly!)

Glory, a cocktail bar in Jing'an by Shanghai bartender Cross Yu. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
First floor

The third floor attic is a private lounge that’s meant to feature a special menu and a cocktail trolley in the near future. (Sounds a bit like the Martini trolley at London’s Connaught Bar.) All still under development.

Glory, a cocktail bar in Jing'an by Shanghai bartender Cross Yu. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
The attic

The main action is on the second floor, where Lexi Xu—another E.P.I.C. veteran—is managing a top-notch cocktail bar/gastrolounge. It has a distinctly 80s, retro-futuristic urban lounge look to it, concrete but not sparse, under-lit and neon-piped but not razzle-dazzle, with raised seating along one wall so customers can see the action at the bar. This is worth appreciating. Bar scene is entertainment scene, too!

Glory, a cocktail bar in Jing'an by Shanghai bartender Cross Yu. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Main bar on second floor

During the visit, the music—a shifting mix of up-tempo jazz, funk, pop and hip-hop—gave it a confident, languid atmosphere. Again, if you know Cross, you’ll know he has excellent taste in music, too.

Cocktails & Bar Bites

The new drinks list is still being finalized, but they’re aiming for 16 signatures cocktails (all ¥98 each) with a “local take on modern classics” theme. House pour cocktails from ¥75. Oh—and all patrons will get a welcome cocktail.

Glory, a cocktail bar in Jing'an by Shanghai bartender Cross Yu. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Welcome cocktail
Glory, a cocktail bar in Jing'an by Shanghai bartender Cross Yu. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Glory 75 – A twist on the French 75, swapping champagne for a Chinese sparkling sake. Could use a little more “sparkle” but the flavors are light and lively. Easy drinking.
Glory, a cocktail bar in Jing'an by Shanghai bartender Cross Yu. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
OKde Punch – pronounced like “的”, as in “this punch is OK.” This clarified milk punch balances a silky yogurt flavor with a little salty plum syrup. Absolutely delicious.
Glory, a cocktail bar in Jing'an by Shanghai bartender Cross Yu. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Crab Roll – A bold idea: lending Talisker crab roe flavor. The roe and the ginger syrup has a hard time standing up to the peatiness of the base spirit, but it’s a drink that’s well worth trying.
Glory, a cocktail bar in Jing'an by Shanghai bartender Cross Yu. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Cup of Miso – A stand-out on the menu built on miso-infused Peddlers, it’s like a sweet and savory cup of Earl Grey with a little spicy note from the Worcestershire Sauce. A complicated drink, but lovely. On the cracker is diced shrimp with miso.
Glory, a cocktail bar in Jing'an by Shanghai bartender Cross Yu. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Smoked Plum – a boozy little number made from Smoked Plum infused Altos Tequila, Black Tears Rum, Montenegro, Fernet Branca, Campari and Angostura Bitters, served in a glass dusted with salty plum powder.

The food menu is short and sweet, just under 10 items of eclectic bar bites.

Tofu. Glory, a cocktail bar in Jing'an by Shanghai bartender Cross Yu. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Spicy Dried Tofu Snacks – Complimentary bar snack. It’s spicy, but hella addictive.
Steak sandwiches. Glory, a cocktail bar in Jing'an by Shanghai bartender Cross Yu. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Fried Steak Sandwich (¥108) with angus ribeye, BBQ katsu dressing and sour cabbage slaw.
Foie Gras Rice. Glory, a cocktail bar in Jing'an by Shanghai bartender Cross Yu. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Foie Gras Rice (¥98) with bonito flakes and a ton of salmon roe.
Glory, a cocktail bar in Jing'an by Shanghai bartender Cross Yu. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Cauliflower Tempura Korean Style (¥78) – Sticky sweet and spicy. Umm, there’s also ONE chicken tempura buried in each plate. It’s like a running joke or something…If you get the chicken chunk, you pay for your friend’s drink? Either way, if you’re averse to having chicken mixed in your cauliflower, just tell the staff.

In Summary: Professionally Crafted

This is only Cross’ second bar in Shanghai since opening E.P.I.C., but he’s showing some of the expertise he’s been bringing to his consulting gigs all over China.

Glory, a cocktail bar in Jing'an by Shanghai bartender Cross Yu. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

It’s more subdued than E.P.I.C.’s unabashedly disco-tastic take on cocktails, but every one I tried was well-designed. Zero duds the whole evening.

Glory, a cocktail bar in Jing'an by Shanghai bartender Cross Yu. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Glory manages to be both ambitious and grounded at the same time. How can I put it? It feels like the work of a professional. From the man at the top to the staff holding the shaker tins and the serving trays, you can expect to find yourself in capable hands here.


Glory
Address: 66 Yuyao Lu, near Haifang Lu 余姚路66号, 近海防路
Tel: 31182838
Hours: 11am-8pm (cafe), 7pm-2pm (bar)