Jing’an Villas: Laowai Paradise at Lane 1025 Nanjing Xi Lu

Jing’an Villas: Laowai Paradise at Lane 1025 Nanjing Xi Lu
By Susie Gordon , eChinacities.com

For a while now, Lane 1025 Nanjing Xi Lu has been attracting attention for the collection of cafés and shops that has mushroomed among its pretty red-brick buildings. In a city with so many specially designed creative hubs (including Xintiandi and the Cool Docks), it's interesting to see a lane like this grow organically. Running off the busy shopping street down to Weihai Lu to the south, Lane 1025 has acquired the nickname Jing'an Villas along with newfound fame.

Before the lane was turned into a residential street, it was the burial ground for Chaozhou families who lived in the area. During the concession era, the British built stables there, and the lane was bought by a Zhejiang developer named Zhang Jinjiang in the 1920s. Zhang built the red-brick "villas" in 1932, and they were home to Shanghai's elite foreign and local figures until the Cultural Revolution, when they were partitioned into apartments. Business has always thrived at ground level, with tailors and greengrocers plying their trade, but recently the lane has developed as a leisure spot. Licensing laws mean that venues come and go, but here are the best of the current crop:

1) Plum GalleryView In Map
This compact exhibition space was founded by Taiwanese artist Nicole Teng, and shows contemporary art with free WiFi, coffee and plum soda.

Add: No. 37, Lane 1025 Nanjing Xi Lu, Shanghai
地址: 上海 南京西路1025弄37号
Tel: 021 5213 6565
Opening hours: Tue-Sun, 11:00-20:00

2) Ru Wa StudioView In Map
Flex your creative skills and get something cool in the process at this craft studio that specialises in retro toys like yoyos and drums.

Add: No. 81, Lane 1025 Nanjing Xi Lu, Shanghai
地址: 上海 南京西路1025弄81号
Tel: 021 6218 5859

3) Wanderers Café View In Map
This cosy coffee spot is ideal for wintry afternoons, while the courtyard out front comes into its own during summer.

Add: No. 84, Lane 1025 Nanjing Xi Lu, Shanghai
地址: 上海 南京西路1025弄84号
Tel: 021 3253 0504
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 13:00-23:00; Sat-Sun, 13:00-midnight

4) Culture MattersView In Map
If you're a fan of Feiyue, pick up a pair at this branch of Culture Matters. Prices go up to 200 RMB for a customised design.

Add: No. 112, Lane 1025 Nanjing Xi Lu, Shanghai
地址: 上海 南京西路1025弄112号
Tel: 021 3251 7637

5) ChabrolView In Map
Named after the French new wave film director Claude Chabrol, this café was set up by a group of movie buffs. Films are screened every evening.

Add: No. 93, Lane 1025 Nanjing Xi Lu, Shanghai
地址: 上海 南京西路1025弄93号
Tel: 021 6253 1906
Opening hours: Daily, 12:30-22:30 (winter); 12:30-23:30 (summer)

6) HypoView In Map
This Taiwanese studio will turn your photos into professional-looking books. Just take in your snaps on a memory stick, and they'll do the rest.

Add: No. 120, Lane 1025 Nanjing Xi Lu, Shanghai
地址: 上海 南京西路1025弄120号
Tel: 021 6255 0675

7) Denny HouseView In Map
Xu Tianxiong's hole-in-the-wall tea shop is run by his son, who serves Hong Kong-style tea from the window. Expect long queues.

Add: No. 128, Lane 1025 Nanjing Xi Lu, Shanghai
地址: 上海 南京西路1025弄128号
Tel: 021 6258 5031

8) 2666 LibraryView In Map
A real working library, 2666 is a collaboration between ShanghaiMonthly.info and Chabrol Café. Buy membership for 100 RMB a month (or 806 RMB a year) and take your pick from a wide selection of Chinese and foreign books.

Add: No. 136, Lane 1025 Nanjing Xi Lu, Shanghai
地址: 上海南京西路1025弄136号
Tel: 021 6210 3526
Opening hours: Daily, 12:00-22:00

9) Ya Ci XuanView In Map
Pick up a piece of classic pottery at this store run by a pair of sisters from Jingdezhen, where all the best porcelain is made. Smaller ornaments are available if you can't afford a vase.

Add: No. 166, Lane 1025 Nanjing Xi Lu, Shanghai
地址:  上海市 南京西路1025弄166号
Tel: 021 6256 4575
Opening hours: Daily 11:00-22:00

10) GZ Café View In Map
One of the longest established venues in the lane, GZ is the ultimate bohemian coffee shop, with a courtyard, a small food menu and home-roasted coffee.

Add: No. 162, Lane 1025 Nanjing Xi Lu, Shanghai
地址: 上海市 南京西路1025弄162号
Tel: 5213 2139
Opening hours: Daily, 9:00-21:00

11) Cute StuffView In Map
Doing exactly what its name implies, Cute Stuff sells attractive and useful gifts that are environmentally friendly. It is run by Ray Mao and Jenny Sun from Miao handicrafts in Tianzifang.

Add: No. 168, Lane 1025 Nanjing Xi Lu, Shanghai
地址: 上海 南京西路1025弄168号
Tel: 021 6402 4538

12) ValeView In Map
If hunger strikes and café food won't suffice, try Vale for a pizza or a bowl of pasta. Make an evening of it with a glass of wine.

Add: No. 192, Lane 1025 Nanjing Xi Lu, Shanghai
地址: 上海 南京西路1025弄192号
Tel: 021 6217 0654

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Keywords: Lane 1025 Nanjing Xi Lu Jing’an Villas Shanghai creative hubs Shanghai cafes and shop streets Shanghai


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