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October 27, 2010

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LOgO farewell party in doubt

A PLANNED farewell bash at LOgO bar on Sunday may not go ahead due to pressure from the nearby residents.

The bar, popular among expatriates, is being forced to close after five years due to numerous noise complaints and government officials have refused to renew its license.

LOgO's owner Tai Pei said customers, DJs and musicians all are begging him to stay open.

Tai said one Italian customer once knelt down in front of him, begging him, half jokingly, "Please, don't shut down the bar."

The farewell bash, if it's allowed to take place, could be huge.

"Almost all of the city's famous underground DJs and musicians plan to perform on Sunday," Tai said.

He said that means 500 to 600 DJs and musicians could be involved in a final tribute at the 150-square-meter bar on Xinfu Road.

A DJ known as Jacob, from Berlin, Germany, told Shanghai Daily that he is trying to persuade Tai to allow him to play for the crowd one last time on Sunday.

Residents in the area have long complained about the "noisy foreigners" who often shout outside LOgO late at night.

Tai said he has spent about 400,000 yuan installing sound-proof walls. He also posted a notice at the entrance and leaflets to people outside the bar, telling them to be quiet.

But the complaints from nearby residents kept coming.

In the past few months, the bar has encountered frequent spot checks by police, who said they received anonymous reports and complaints.

Tai said the bar's door lock has been filled with metal or other materials by unknown people who were trying to prevent him from opening.

To many customers, LOgO's shutdown is sad.

"Shame," David, a rapper from Luxembourg, said after hearing the news. "It's a bar that shows a different Shanghai."

Cookie, a regular customer, said: "We can still buy cheap beers at the nearby supermarket, sit in front of the closed bar, and have fun."

Tai said local neighborhood committee officials asked him whether the bar could be leased as a clothing shop or a nursing home.

"Maybe I'll turn it into a museum with graffiti on the walls so people can share their stories," Tai said.

He said he remembers the day he named the bar LOgO because he wanted to make it a symbol of Shanghai.

As for the future, Tai said he may open a new LOgO.


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