Shanghai-Lil, Auckland's camp oriental-themed piano bar, has found a new home and is likely to re-open on Karangahape Road in February in time for the Auckland Pride Festival.
The much-loved venue is set to open up at 335 Kâ€™ Rd, the building which once housed the Vegas strip club upstairs featuring many transgender entertainers and Legend gay bar and nightclub downstairs. It's a larger space than Shanghai Lil's previous locations and will be both "bigger and brighter than before,â€ť according to Family's Grady Elliott.
Shanghai Lilâ€™s legends Russell Green, host, and Billy Farnell, pianist par excellence, will continue to front the venue and the â€śdĂ©cor and vibe will remain much the same as prior venuesâ€ť, Elliott says. But there will be extra dĂ©cor features such as prop pieces from the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to enhance the â€śoriental theme of it all.â€ť
The new venue will have more room, with plenty of space for a new purpose-built bar and a dance floor. Out front will be â€ścompletely redone, with cut outs so people can be out front without having to hangout on the footpathâ€ť and there'll be an 'Opium Denâ€™ out back, which will be a private function room able to cater to 20 to 30 people.
The new Shanghai Lil is hoped to be ready to open in time for Pride revelry in mid-February. Elliott says plans at the moment involve opening Wednesday to Saturday with the potential to open more often if the new venue proves sufficiently popular.