How do you find a good location for a wine bar in Shanghai?

A good friend of mine is planning to set up a wine bar in Shanghai. Although he is Chinese and pretty well connected, he has not been able to find a good property yet. He has been using Chinese agents, but they somehow seem to miss out on the best locations. During the past couple of months some new bars popped up in locations that he is looking for, but he did not hear about them on time. Most of these bars are run by foreigners, who seem to be able to scout these places before the Chinese agents do, which makes me wonder if there is some sort of hidden channel that I am not aware of?

If you know a good location for a wine bar, please drop me a line (email or comments) and I will put you in touch with him. What he is looking for:
– size 100-150 square meters
– location: French Concession or the area around the Portman Ritz-Carlton. If you know a place in a different location in Puxi not too far from big office buildings that might also be OK.
– price RMB 15,000-25,000

I am sure you’ll get a good bottle of wine if he finds the right place through you.

Picture (creative commons): Thomas Hawk

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  1. Wine is culture, and successfull selling of wine is only possible if you know everything about the wine, culture and peotry, what is nearly not possible 🙂

    My family opened a wine bar more than 120 years ago and until today we produce and serve wine. Oh lets say also beer in the past years.
    The location of a wine bar is not very important, not the key for the success. The key for the success is the knowledge of wine, of the wine culture and poetry if we talk about china.

    And as I see that your friend is more focusing on employees out of large offices his plan is more about selling wine out of the bottle, but nothing special, or? How may of such bars closed in the past? And how many hotels can offer same?

    Bring in more ideas for the presentation and celebration of wines, not for the location. Serve your nothern wines in bronze vessels mit a taotie mask motiv on it and tell the people why you do so. Bring in elements of the Opera “The drunken beauty” by Huang Shang for example, tell the guests about that. Tell the guests about the cultural relations between your china and wine. Then I am sure you will find a lot of chinese guests and foreigners too.

    Save money, pay less rent, but invest in celebration of the wine.

    Every June, because of a wine fair in China, I meet about 30 owners of winery

  2. You are the co-founder of That’s something special. How’s tudou doing?

  3. Hi Marc,
    Finding locations for F&B outlets in Shanghai is VERY challenging, even in 2009. Generally speaking, you need to look for venues that are suffering and offer to buy them out.
    I'm more in the industrial side of property, but most of my clients in a previous life were F&B shop owners, so drop me a line if I can be of help.

  4. You need to talk to the neighbors (other shops) in the areas you want, let them know they can commission the deal, and let it happen.