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October 15, 2009

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A cocktail and a quick lie down no surprise at chilled-out Bed bar

PLUSH pillows on spacious beds surrounding a central drinking area contribute to a new laid-back lounge with heaps of sex appeal, Sam Riley reports.

For new Shanghai party destination and stylish cocktail lounge Bed, the most fun can be had lying down.

Bed is the brainchild of Mary Ann Levanza, previously the general manager of Velvet Lounge, and when describing her design of the sleek new bar on Nanjing Road W., near People's Square, she continually refers to its "chilled-out" atmosphere.

With the bar ringed by spacious beds filled with plush pillows, the joint oozes sex appeal.

Bar-goers can take off their shoes and imbibe the atmosphere from reclining positions with views of the happenings at the bar.

Open for four months, Bed's sensual range of laid-back lounge tunes and the bed theme have already bought out the amorous side of Shanghai's party-goers.

"Our customers have done everything they can possibly do here," Levanza jokes.

In the fourth-floor space, where Otto Wine and Cafe Bar used to be, Levanza has decked out the area's two terraces with beds and comfy chairs and tables where they can host barbecues in the summer months.

Describing the drink list as "young and refreshing," Levanza has created a list that is weighted in favor of fruit-driven cocktails, using fresh fruit juices and light flavors. Some of these are in the range of "freshtinis" Levanza has designed using fresh mint, or ginger, and there is even a fresh cucumber juice tini.

"We want people to drink a fresh, light healthy drink, and we want to make healthy drinks for healthy freaks," she says. "We can make drinks from whatever we have in our fruit basket, we have made fantastic drinks from dragon fruit, for example, and we can make a customized cocktail for people."

For the after-dinner crowd, they also have a range of dessert cocktails including mangoes and cream with fresh mango puree and a bubblegum-flavored cocktail made from rum, banana, pineapple juice and cherry flavors.

For the traditionalists who like their straight liquors and strong cocktails, there is a "men's corner" on the list with classics such as Mint Julep and the whiskey cocktail "Bobby Burns."

For a bar in the vicinity of People's Square, Bed is also refreshingly affordable, with big glasses of draft Tsingtao beer for 35 yuan (US$5.14) and cocktails are around the 55 yuan mark.

Happy hour is from 5pm until 8pm and it is 35 yuan (US$5.12) for selected cocktails and house drinks and 25 yuan for draft beer.

"We want the bar to be a chilled-out, unpretentious place for people to come and hang out, lie down and chat with friends," Levanza says.

"There are a lot of lounges in Shanghai, but they are not as comfortable, and you find yourself sitting at a hard table or a sofa and it isn't as cozy and sexy as what we have here," she adds.

Bed also serves a range of light food including tasty mini-burgers, tapas, bar snacks and sandwiches.

The bar will also hold a Michael Jackson-themed "Thriller" party on the Halloween.

Address: 4/F, 456 Nanjing Rd W., near Huangpi Rd

Tel: 6359-5367 (negotiable charge for beds on weekends)


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