CITYLIFE / Bars & Cafes

ABCs of Bars
(City Weekend)
Updated: 2006-05-24 08:55

While many people know the Sumerians invented the first alphabet, it is little known that they were also the first to brew beer.

Although this culture has faded, a relationship between simple letters and alcohol providers has remained in the form of easily recognizable one-letter monikers.

In Shanghai, the mellow ambience and two TV screens at M-Zone (bars) are great for catching up on Premiership scores over a draft Kilkenny's or Guinness (RMB 65), while their Guinness Martini (RMB 68) comes highly recommended. Down on Nanchang Lu, Y.Y.'s (bars) embodies Yin and Yang.

The dark wood and low light upstairs give the bar a cozy atmosphere, while the downstairs (currently undergoing renovations) proves itself a true basement with concrete floors and underground DJ shows. For those looking for a special drink, the New York's fruity color belies its potency.

Don't expect any special drinks at C's Bar (bars), where the "C" most certainly stands for cheap. The labyrinthine interior gives C's an underground feel, and even with chicken scratch on the walls, the RMB 10 beers and mixed drinks redeem all, making C's the perfect place to strap on the drinking boots and get dirty.

While bars' uni-letter titles probably stem from a fear of bad translations, understanding the historical relationship between simple linguistics and alcoholic consumption is by no means necessary for drinking enjoyment.