Openings: Hard Rock, Farine LAB, Fatburger (again), El Luchito, Candor Bar
Lil’ Laundry’s open. It’s like Liquid Laundry, but lil'er. More here.
Hard Rock’s soft open. Soft open yes, but they’re totally serving stuff and selling t-shirts. The first floor’s open, looks like the second floor might take a little while. Go check out the uh… guitar from that guy in the Black Eyed Peas. More at that above link as well.
Fatburger’s opening another location in the foot of the Shanghai Tower. They were keen to stress that it’s not like the one in Sinan Mansions; this one’s more like a sports bar. It’s got a "Fatbar". Go watch Fatsports with a Fatbeer in your Fathand if you want. Free Fatburger to the first 100 people through the door on Saturday morning.
Farine Lab’s is kind-of-soft-open. We’ve been keeping quiet about this one because they’re doing secret science stuff over there. But if you're keen you should go check it out. Just know they're switching things up there pretty regularly.
"Tacos & tequila" spot El Luchito, from the people bringing you capital E “El” things like El Luchador and El Santo, took over the spot from Sliders. It's all pretty El confusing.
And Candor's re-opening. Surprise. It’s moved to the Lyceum Theater and they’ve got some fancy to-do’s planned for tonight. If you missed the old one, don’t worry, this one looks pretty much the same.
Closings: Bull & Claw, Pret K11, More Than Eat, UNICO (temporarily)
Wouldn’t be a Shanghai F&B article without some big-name shut-downs in the first week. Revving 2017's death engine directly into third gear! (But seriously, condolences to these fine establishments and all.)
Bull & Claw was shut down on December 25 by government order. They apparently gave them like, a week to close up shop. That’s it, you’re done. It was irate neighbors, according to the management.
Pret a Manger in K11 shuts today, according to our man in the field CStC. Seems like bad luck: a Starbucks opened just across the lobby from them and they got stomped. Just couldn't compete with those fraps. They still have the one in Jing’an.
More Than Eat’s still shut. Yup.
UNICO and Mauro Colagreco have parted ways and closed up the restaurant. They also closed the bar, which gave us a delightfully clickbait-y title, oh man, we can almost taste those misbegotten clicks, but the lounge and bar part’ll be open tomorrow. And they’ve got something else cooking for that restaurant space, which segues nicely to…
The Word Around Town
It’s called "The Chop Chop Club". It’s with Paul Pairet. You might have heard of him. Mr. & Mrs. Bund? Ultraviolet? Anyway, he’s opening the place up in Colagreco’s old spot at the end of January.
Other bits of shaky news: Hooked & El Santo are (probably?) going to be open this weekend. We put this here and not in “The Openings” because it’s not a sure thing.
Booze news! Goose Island Brewery’s opening their own brewhouse soon. When? Probably fully in operation by middle of February. Maoming Bei Lu and Nanjing Xi Lu a few doors south of Hard Rock Cafe.
Hop Project’s got the entire line of Little Creatures on tap from today until May. We’ve had some complaints of the taps running dry there occasionally, so hopefully this’ll keep the beer flowing comfortably. And Little Creatures is pretty good stuff, actually.
What else? Are podcasts relevant? I started listening to this new F&B podcast called Bottled in China, run by this wine-nerd Emilie Steckenborn. She interviews people, last episode was Alex Xu from delicious hipster bao place Baoism. Only has three episodes, I’ll stick with it for a couple more episodes to see how it goes.
That’s it for now, Shanghai. Fingers crossed this is, at least, an entertaining year because I doubt it’s going to be better. Fingers crossed! Check back next week for more scandalous, unsubstantiated F&B gossip.