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390 reopens as Lucca

One of Shanghai's best-loved gay bars returns with a new face

Time Out readers may be aware of our 'First look blog', where we scope out Shanghai's newest bars, restaurants and shops. However, Lucca, on 390 Panyu Lu, is not so much as first look as a déjà vu, because while it has for all intents and purposes just opened, it is not new.

The gay community and its friends were dismayed by the closure of 390 and long-running club-in-a-bunker Shanghai Studios last December. And while Shanghai Studios will return imminently in a brand new venue, 390 has been given a new name, sort of like somebody in witness protection given a new identity in that it still looks exactly the same but we have to call it something different. When we popped by last week, we found the same owner and same faux-bookcases, which we were very pleased with indeed.

It was a chance to acquaint ourselves with the newly branded menu, though. Because as well as serving up the usual chilled, casual weekday vibes, and raucous, drag-tastic disco-dancing Friday and Saturday nights, there’s a thoroughly decent selection of pizzas and pastas, as well as burgers.including BBQ bacon, mushroom swiss or, er, PB and bacon for 58RMB, and salmon or 'Teryaki Islander' for 68RMB, which come with your choice of side dish.

390 wasn’t broke so didn’t need fixing, so we’re pleased it’s found its way back onto the map, especially as it dishes out fun like no other gay venue in Shanghai. After all, what would have happened to the Annual Drag Queen competition? It doesn't bear thinking about.

Lucca is 390 Panyu Lu, near Fahuazhen Lu. See full address details