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 according to Family's Grady Elliott.
Shanghai Lilâs legends Russell Green, host, and Billy Farnell, pianist par excellence, will continue to front the venue and the âdĂ©cor and vibe will remain much the same as prior venuesâ, Elliott says. But there will be extra dĂ©cor features such as prop pieces from the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to enhance the âoriental theme of it all.â
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 âcompletely redone, with cut outs so people can be out front without having to hangout on the footpathâ 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.