Interview: Geo Valdivieso & Victor Doukov on their New 'Cocktail Club'

By Cristina Ng, October 7, 2018

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Since meeting at M1NT Shanghai five years ago, fast friends Geo Valdivieso and Victor Doukov have wanted to open something together. After completing other big name projects such as Revolucion Cocktail (Victor) and The Captain (Geo), they are finally teaming up for an ambitious ‘cocktail club’ named UP. 

How did you know the time was finally right to open something together?
VD: I was ready to move on, and he was the person that I wanted to [open a club] with. Even though we have different personalities, we always complete each other. He is the perfect face for a bar, while I’m in the back making sure everybody is safe. 

Who else is involved?
GV: Max Trullas Moreno (MTMDESIGN) is working on the design and construction of the space, and we also have Carlos Sotomayor doing the food. Siu Tang from The Orange Blowfish is leading the artistic direction of all the walls in the space to create a cohesive story through curation and design. 

"Originality is everywhere, so we are full of our own new ideas"

What kind of food will Carlos serve?
VD: We are aiming for comfort, so think premium fast food. You can get sweet and sour chicken and dumplings in takeaway boxes. When you party, you always want to eat something, and it’s a hassle to find something that is of good quality after midnight. At UP, you can pop a bottle and have a burger late at night.

Image courtesy UP

What will the drink prices be like?
VD: Nothing will be more than RMB100. Even though we are aiming at a younger generation of trendy locals with a lot of cocktail knowledge, we still want to keep this a high-volume bar. 

Will people who don’t like clubs enjoy UP?
VD: Yes. It’s not a club club, it’s a cocktail bar slash club. It can be a lot of things at once. If you want a lounge vibe, come earlier or hang out on the terrace. 
GV: The main goal is to satisfy all moods. While the venue is quite big, we can transform the space by closing off areas earlier and reopening them as needed. 

Will you have fireworks or sharks?
VD: While we have gotten a lot from previous venues, we need to respect our own identity.
GV: Originality is everywhere, so we are full of our own new ideas. With this team behind us, it’s even easier to keep the creativity alive. 

[Cover photo by Cristina Ng/That's]

See listing for UP here

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