Triple the speakeasy, and that’s totally not a typo. Speak Low is a speakeasy on steroids in the heart of Shanghai. Japanese bartending savant Shingo Gokan has basically taken every other bar on Earth and blown it out of the water.
Here’s how this whole speakeasy, speakeasy, speakeasy thing works. The storefront is Ocho Bar Tools, selling every imaginable item for the modern bartender. The first secret door is a traditional sliding bookcase that leads you down a tunnel, and up a flight of stairs to the first hush-hush bar. It’s New York-esque with traditional cocktails and a low-key vibe. An A+ bar, even without the other watering holes to follow.
To hit up tavern number two, continue up the stairs and search the wall for a map (you’ll definitely miss the door). Once you’ve got the map in your sights, find Shanghai and give it a good press. Ta-da! You’re in. Locale number two is smaller and cozier with more exotic cocktails (we recommend Passion Dance, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Kissa, and Sexy Colada). There’s no standing or shouting allowed in this room, the occupancy max is 20, and Shingo himself is behind the bar bringing his world champion skills to every detail of your drink. Disclaimer: As you climb the stairs, prices climb with you.
For most, the Speak Low experience ends at speakeasy number two, but you will notice that there’s an “Employees Only” sign blocking a higher climb on the staircase. For a lucky few regular patrons, Shingo invites them to a members only Japanese-style whiskey bar behind the “Employees Only” line. We won’t give away what happens there.
In sum: We can’t help but speak up for Speak Low.