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12 places to check out at lifestyle hub Blackstone Apartments

The renovated 96-year-old complex on Fuxing Lu is now home to cocktails bars and restaurants, boutique shops and more

Photograph: courtesy Blackstone Apartments
At one time luxury apartments in the heart of Old Xuhui and at another the office of the United Nations Relief and Relocation Administration, the 96-year-old Blackstone Apartments on Fuxing Lu – near the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Hall – have found their third iteration as a complex for the bon viveurs of Shanghai. Now filled with cocktails bars and restaurants, boutique shops (including a bookstore and tailor), a hotel and more, here's what to expect from the revamp of the building and adjacent courtyards.

Eat

Vesta Blackstone Garden

The kind of spot you might go for a long catchup lunch with friends by day and a smooth date spot come nightfall, this upscale brasserie set in suave surrounds offers a wide range of dishes that draw inspiration from Western and Asian cuisines.

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1331 Fuxing Zhong Lu

Yo! Burger

Blackstone Apartment’s answer to your fast food needs, Yo! Burger turns out patties that go beyond the usual beef, like soft shell crab and (going really out there) a mashed taro, purple potato and seasonal fruit burger if plant-based meals are more your thing. There are of course the classics too with the likes of beef and New Zealand lamb burgers also on the menu.

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1331 Fuxing Lu

He Wei Zhi Guo

A petite dessert shop dedicated to wagashi (a Japanese sweet traditionally served with tea), He Wei Zhi Guo’s eye-catching little delicacies are as much works of art as they are bites to eat. If you’re looking to get hands-on, they also run classes in wagashi making.

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1331 Fuxing Lu

Casa Mia

Formerly on Donghu Lu, omakase-style Italian restaurant Casa Mia is run by local husband and wife duo Elvira Li and Tom Yu. It’s known for its home-style eats, intimate vibes and warm service, but also because there are no menus. You pay a flat rate and leave your meal in the hands of Yu who helms the kitchen.

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1331 Fuxing Lu

Drink

W&W wine shop

Grab a glass of vino at this cosy wine store and drinking spot. The friendly and knowledgeable staff are always ready to offer advice on the extensive menu of wines from around the world. Feel like learning a little more about what you’re drinking? W&W also offers wine tastings from a selection of bottles that rotate monthly.

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1331 Fuxing Lu

12 Bar Blues

When you’re in the mood for something a bit more upbeat 12 Bar Blues keeps it swinging till the early hours. The compact space gets electric with people vibing to music and quality cocktails by Tammy Liu – the winner of 2019's Lady Amarena cocktail competition. You might not be able to find a seat, but you will find a killer playlist and a good drink to accompany it.

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1331 Fuxing Lu

Blackstone Exchange

Blackstone Apartment’s answer to Shanghai’s long-running bar trend, Blackstone Exchange is hidden behind a discreet door in speakeasy-style. Those that can find the way in (look for the hidden button) will be treated to some old-world luxury and a menu of Taiwanese-inspired bar snacks to go with a selection of playful cocktails and a whisky menu so dense it's practically a tome.

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1331 Fuxing Lu

Blackstone Whisky Lounge

Housing an enviable Scotch collection (amongst other whiskies), this sleek lounge is the place to learn a thing or two about the spirit in the capable hands of a whisky master.

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1331 Fuxing Lu

Shop

Casa Rossa

Gents, smarten up your style with a trip to bespoke tailors Casa Rossa. All the suits here are made to measure in British or Neapolitan styles with high-quality materials flown in from Italy and the UK. 

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1331 Fuxing Lu

NTMY Bookstore

A haven for bookworms, NTMY is set inside the apartment building that gives the complex its name. The shelves are lined with classic books in English and Chinese, as well as a mix of art and cookbooks. There's also an extensive vinyl section. Follow your nose through the network of corridors that'll lead you to the cosy next-door café Drops Coffee – a great space to while away an hour or two getting stuck into your new buys.

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1331 Fuxing Lu

San Shi Liang Ting

Whether you're prettying up a room of your house or looking for a special gift, the complex’s resident gallery and shop San Shi Liang Ting exhibits a tasteful selection of art and trinkets, including new-style ink paintings from local artist Huang Xiaoxiao, hand-painted ceramics and a jewellery collection that leans towards gold and jade.

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1331 Fuxing Lu

Stay

M+ Hotel

Luxe staycation anyone? The suites and rooms at the boutique M+ Hotel draw inspiration from Shanghai’s rich Art Deco heritage. International travel being what it is these days, the intended target market of foreign musicians playing at the nearby Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Hall aren’t able to grab up all that luxury accommodation. Get in there while you can.

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