Two of Asia’s bartending best have put their heads together to create the ultimate 80s-inspired cocktail sensation.
Cocktail making greats Steve Schneider (The Strangers Club, principal bartender at NYC’s Employees Only and founder of the Singapore location) and Shingo Gokan (Speak Low, Sober Company, The SG Club and The Spirited Awards’ 2017 International Bartender of the Year) have announced they will open The Odd Couple this November, a cocktail lounge in the heart of Shanghai.
The pair first met in the early 2000’s, when Gokan was running the award winning, Japanese-inspired Angel’s Share in New York. They are excited to reconnect this year and bring together their distinct skills in precision bartending and lighting fast service.
“Shingo and I struck up a close friendship over a decade ago and have guided each other through parallel careers ever since,” said Schneider. “We’ve had the pleasure of bartending all over the world together and thought it was about time to make it official. With his meticulous technique and my fast pouring style, we’ve got a unique and dynamic recipe for something truly special that we can’t wait to share.”
“The way Steve and the team at Employees Only are known to churn out cocktails at record speed, all while making guests feel truly at home, is a genre of hospitality I have always respected,” added Gokan. “We are looking forward to seeing what happens when we integrate the refined cocktail building techniques I have tried to perfect over the years,”
Uniting these seemingly contradictory service styles of speed vs. accuracy is what led to ‘The Odd Couple’ name. This focus on guest experience, along with the retro 80’s theme, will make for a bar concept entirely new to the region.
The interiors are described as a ‘reimagining of our future from the past’, with retro-funk touches, a wealth of neon and moving light fixtures. The drinks menu will reflect this high-energy atmosphere, with eight pairs of signature cocktails based on specific flavour profiles. Both bartenders have made their own version of a cocktail to highlight these flavours, meaning there is something for every taste. For the traditionalists out there, there will also be classics such as highballs on offer.
With Schneider and Gokan collectively ranking up two spots on the World’s 50 Best Bars list over the years and three on Asia’s 50 Best, this is sure to be a world-class bar unlike any other.
Address: No. 25, 181 Taicang Lu,
Xintiandi, Shanghai 20000