CITYLIFE / Bars & Cafes

Into the soothing darkness: People 7
By Namrita Chow (Shanghai Star )
Updated: 2006-05-25 11:56

Walk along the road, past cycles and cigarette sellers. Do not look for a sign, there is none. Look instead for darkness; the darkest entrance to a building. Look on the floor for a sign. If you see an image created by light on the dusty, murky, grey-stone non-committal floor, you have found People 7.

Up the dimly lit steps and you reach a wall with a collection of tube like holes. It seems like a dead end. You try, as we all do when faced with the uncertain, to make sense out of this nonsense. There is however a secret. A secret code which lies in the order in which you put your arms into the tubes. It would be telling what this code is, but truth be told if you attempt various possibilities you do finally find that a wall opens. Open Sesame!

Inside it has maintained its charm as a calm, chill-out lounge bar. Soft grey sofas and dimly lit tables. The bar is long and well stocked, staff walk around with blinking lights and pens with torches to help them get your order amidst the serene dim lighting.

Bowls filled with dry ice, steam away. Within these bowls lie the must-have People 7 concoction. Test-tubes filled with cocktails, frozen in the ice. Soft conversations drift through the room. It is a place where you go when you want to talk; or look into someone's eyes where they cannot tell in the darkness how many drinks you might have had.

The snacks are minimal, but the People 7 restaurant upstairs does keep serving till mid-night, which is rare in Shanghai and something that many who have a few cocktails would do well to remember.

People 7 has been open a few years, and has remained a popular bar. It is a cool fusion of Chinese and Japanese influences, with minimalist food, chilled ambience and sleek service.

Warning: Remember the codes and secrets, well; you need to solve another if you want to go to the loo. Don't be put off; because once you do get in, the light only comes on if you lock the door. Many a friend has been too scared to lock the door and so have been stuck in People 7's loo in darkness.

People 7
Location: No.805, Jululu (by Fuminlu)
Tel: 021-54040707