The Press is a pretty nice little sandwich shop in Shanghai from designer Alberto Caiola with a lot to recommend it. We like the salmon bar paired with the polished concrete and dramatically-lit drop ceiling. We love the vintage Coca Cola vending machine in the corner. But what we really love is when you swing open the machine’s door and step through into the venue’s second (boozier) realm.
If The Press is the public face, then Flask is the part that keeps itself hidden and only shows itself when the sun goes down and drinks start flowing. The tunnel that leads through from The Press to the speakeasy behind prepares the senses for a seismic shift. The concrete remains but the cheerful colours and upbeat lighting of the sandwich shop are gone in favour of a much warmer, darker experience full of dark browns and burnt metallics. A display shelf provides one of the Flask’s main visual focal points, lined with huge 25 litre whiskey jars, and there’s a more obscure reference to the speakeasy spirit of sneaky drinking in a wall installation of flasks hidden behind a layer of material. A third element comes tumbling from above as a series of cubes cascade down towards the rear of Flask, drawing the visitor inside.