Eddy’s Bar marks 15 years at the forefront of Shanghai LGBT history

Eddy’s Bar marks 15 years at the forefront of Shanghai LGBT history

The owner of the city’s original gay bar tracks the evolution of Shanghai's LGBT scene over the last 15 years and explains why his community’s embattled past is proving difficult to overcome
Eddy's Bar Shanghai
Eddy’s opened in 1995 and was the first bar to openly serve the city’s gay, lesbian and bisexual community in Shanghai.

As Eddy goes to pour me the whisky coke I ordered on his insistence, I sit back and listen to the techno remix of The Fifth Dimension’s “Let the Sunshine In” pounding through the speakers as red glow spills out of all the light fixtures, illuminating the Westerners and the Shanghainese who congregate at one of the most welcoming locales in Shanghai. 

As I take in the scene, I spot a group of 20-something patrons seated at an adjacent table, a Cultural Revolution-era Coca-Cola advertisement looming above them. Comrades watching over today's "comrades" (the term once used during the Cultural Revolution is now synonymous with "gay" in Chinese). 

getting there

Eddy’s Bar
1877 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Tianping Lu
上海市淮海中路1877号, 近天平路
+86 21 6282 0521
Hours: daily 7pm-2am

Robert Schrader is a wandering writer, blogger and photographer currently shacking up in Shanghai.
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