In search of an elevated cocktail bar that features historic art-deco vibes, chill beats, and delicious, unique drinks that tell a story whilst entertaining your taste buds? Look no further than MILL, Hangzhou a bar where modern China meets vintage décor, and detailed, specialist cocktails are made by cocktail masters with a love of their craft. As I was simply told, “This isn’t a commercial bar; this is where you come to have good, good cocktails.”
With six different establishments, the MILL located on the tree-lined Nanshan Lu near West Lake is one of their prized locations; designed by architect Zhang Jian, the careful placement of stained glass, mahjong accents, and lineal octagons compliment the authentic art-deco pieces from the MinGuo period, creating a space that nods to old and new China. As well as offering delicious snacks, their leather-bound menu is filled with exquisite drinks aimed to provide patrons with the opportunity to appreciate the art of skillfully-made cocktails. One of the drinks I had the pleasure of enjoying was topped with an edible rice paper with a hand-painted design by a local artist, ingraining yet again how this bar takes pride in the details.
MILL is about understanding and respecting the culture of drinking while providing a space where personality and details matter. The owner has long-term goals for each of her MILL locations and her passion for drinking is what inspired her to create each of the tailor-made establishments. The international bar scene has taken note and recently MILL hosted the best bar in France, Little Red Door, to do a crossover event at the Nanshan location.
It’s quite obvious MILL strives for perfection and provides a luxurious alternative to the many commercial or non-specialised bars scattered throughout Hangzhou. For example, MILL offers a VIP room (accessed by a secret entrance) filled with limited edition whiskeys and is evidence that although there are many whisky bars in Hangzhou, MILL is the most passionate and specialised, with over 500 bottles with 200 varieties.
Cocktails start at 90 RMB, which explains why their clients tend to be businessmen, artists, entrepreneurs, and even the Lenovo boss (many other notable patrons have also signed the cement pillars that feature along the bar). However, MILL is well worth the price, offering perfect, personalised cocktails and an eclectic environment that translates into a drinking experience rarely found elsewhere. It all made sense to me when I was told, “MILL is a place that collects lost souls, where you can meet like-minded people who don’t judge”. MILL is where, I believe, you can enjoy the best cocktails in Hangzhou.
Weekdays 19:00 – 2:00 and open until 3:00 on weekends.
176-3 Nanshan Lu