Fancy drinks and a night of dancing after a long day in Shanghai? Check out The Shelter in the always-fun French Concession. Shanghai has long had a vibrant nightlife dating back to the Jazz Age, and now the club scene is literally the bomb. Bomb shelters in China’s largest city are now becoming the new hot spots and giving a new meaning to creative reuse. As the price of real estate continues to soar in this city of 13 million, entrepreneurs are turning these underground hovels into the hottest places to hang out.

For owners of such venues including The Shelter, running a business in such a spot is more than about offering a place with an edgy atmosphere. The cool temperatures in these former bomb shelters allow for the cost effective storage of drinks and food without running up electricity bills. Lower costs means a cheaper night out: The Shelter’s cover charge is $2 to $8 and drinks are priced on the low end, a welcome relief in expensive Shanghai. With the exception of a few pieces of furniture, little is needed to create a creepy yet cool post-apocalyptic atmosphere. Sustainable business in Shanghai has never been so fun.

One of my most recent architecture articles on Inhabitat.

Photos courtesy Smart Shanghai.

The Shelter, Shanghai, China, bomb shelters, reuse, nightlife, sustainable business, Xuhui District, Xuhui, French Concession, nightclubs

The Shelter, Shanghai, China

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.