Waldorf Astoria: the Long Bar in Shanghai Gets a New Lease of Life

waldorf astoria long bar in shanghai When Richard Nixon visited the Great Wall during his historic visit to China in 1972, he famously commented, “This is a great wall!”

You cannot help but wonder what he would have said if he been shown the Long Bar in the Shanghai Club on the Bund in Shanghai.

I’m not sure what exactly became of the Long Bar following the communist conquest of China in 1949, but I do know that the Shanghai Club became the Dongfang Hotel in the 1950s.

And just to show how low the grand dame of Shanghai could go, from 1990 to 1996 she housed a KFC outlet. But that was then …

The Long Bar

The Shanghai Club was a British men’s club on Shanghai’s celebrated Bund. It was originally built in 1861. It was rebuilt in 1910.

The Long Bar was located on the second floor, a mahogany L-shaped masterpiece that was 110.7 feet by 39 feet. It was reputedly the longest bar in the Far East – if not the world. I once read book on pre-war Shanghai written by a British historian, whose name escapes me. She said that she had tried her best to ascertain if the bar was in fact the longest in the world (or at least in the Far East), but she couldn’t find any proof that it was.

“But it definitely was a bar, and it definitely was long,” she concluded.

To Be Continued

Copyright: Michael Taylor Pictured: the Long Bar Photo Credit: Derryck Menere Photo Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts

 

 

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