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April 29, 2010

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No mutinies on this Bounty

THE crew of the Bounty, Shanghai's only dedicated rum bar, have safely navigated the somewhat treacherous waters of the city's bar scene to open a second outlet in a burgeoning entertainment area in Xuhui District.

The distinctive bars are designed to look like the interior of a ship and are complete with all-wood paneled interior, treasure chest-shaped seating and a beer tap shaped like a ship's wheel.

The first Bounty Rhumerie on Wuding Road opened its doors in the middle of last year and this new addition to the fleet on Yongfu Road will be one of a cluster of bars set to open on the street.

A new Indian-style bar, Shiva Lounge, is set soon to open a few doors down. Also slated for the area is a swish New York-style bar and a whisky bar.

With Shelter and the red-hot El Coctel also on the same road, this area will draw a range of punters from those looking for a casual drink to the style-conscious cocktail sippers.

Set at street level, the Bounty has kept its prices at the cheap and cheerful end of the market.

It has been a busy start for the second bar, which opened its doors at the beginning of April.

The Bounty has already seemed to be benefiting from its neighbor's strict door policy to happily serve a fortifying rum to those styled out by the second-floor establishment's fashion-conscious door staff.

The Bounty was the brainchild of Frenchmen Jeremy Villard and Julien Stelmach who used to run a rum bar in Valence in southeastern France.

Along with local partner Gabriel Wang, they have designed a bar with an approachable range of rum options from infused shots to rum and fruit juice mixes that are served in handmade jars.

Infused rums start from 20 yuan (US$2.90) a shot and include flavors such as passion fruit, pineapple and vanilla, ginger, cooked apple and mango.

They are also among the few places in town with a good selection of premium aged rums, including a 23-year-old Ron Zacapa rum from Guatemala that has all the complexity and flavor of a good cognac.

"We recommend that our drinkers try our aged rums without ice because it is smooth enough and you can really pick up some of the subtle flavors of caramel or vanilla," Stelmach says.

The crew at Bounty are also looking to provide food and will be adding a range of pizzas (50 yuan), a cheese plate (150 yuan) and a cold cut plate (90 yuan) in the coming month. The bar is open from 6pm to late, seven days a week.


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