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Farine Is Now Available for Rent — Beginning of the End for Franck's Venues in Shanghai?
By Apr 10, 2017 Dining

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The former corner of 378 Wukang Lu is for rent. It used to be known as Farine. The rumors have been fast and furious since the bakery chain was shut down by the authorities two weeks ago, with everyone from stubborn customs agents to former business partners coming under suspicion. Farine put out a press release stating that they're "working with authorities to resolve this matter" but it seems the matter is being resolved for them: Their shops have been boarded up and their signage taken down. What is to become of them?

***

At the extreme end of the speculation is the idea that not only will Farine not be coming back, but that all of Franck Pecol’s businesses are now vulnerable. See: the “temporary” closure of Rachel's, Grains, and Far West. The sudden flight of Pecol, who is presumably the legal representative of some or all of these businesses but has since left the country, did not help.



What actually happened with the 2,300 bags of “expired” flour and the 300,000rmb whistleblower will probably never be known. And in cases like these, there is never an official “closure” notice. So, what will it look like if the small F&B group that Pecol built is indeed at-risk? Well, probably a lot like the quiet signs that started to emerge today.

The first is the quiet spreading of the word among industry people that the former Farine location is back up for rent, this time with a few restrictions on the kitchen. The second is the removal of Franck’s name from the tenant directory at Ferguson Lane – the popular restaurant now just “...Bistrot” and its younger sibling “Le Petit...“. Finally, most damning, word that the staff of Rachel’s have already left for other jobs, supposedly at the suggestion of the GM.

For Farine, and the rest of the businesses associated with Pecol, it’s starting to look like the beginning of the end for a thriving F&B business that took years to build and only a few weeks to dismantle.

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14 comments.

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  • 2 years ago jesuisfarine Unverified User

    JE SUIS FARINE!

  • 2 years ago Unverified User

    Well, that was a swift kick in the cronuts.
    I guess China doesn't want a bunch of over priced restaurants that cater to the foreigner community, they want high technology and doofuses with MBA's and no China knowledge.

  • 2 years ago Unverified User

    Meanwhile, my local grocery store will still sell me expired milk.

  • 2 years ago Unverified User

    Is it a coincidence or witch hunt coming on the heels of the Chinese community's protests in France? Vendetta driven policies seem to be a pattern in China.

  • 2 years ago gabyu

    Shanghai, the destroyer of worlds.

  • 2 years ago handoogies

    Whatever THIS is, when THIS happens again we have the Franck'd adjective in our lexicon.

  • 2 years ago Thatsashame Unverified User

    That's a shame really. The french authorities should do the same in Paris to all the filthy Chinese restaurants and their "appartements raviolis" (google it if you don't know what it means).
    A question though... Whistle blowers get 300K Rmb for their "tips" to the authorities... I wonder if a foreigner would get the money too when reporting a filthy local restaurant ; or if he would hear the usual "yeah but no ; in this particular case there is no reward involved. Don't try to understand you're just a foreigner"

  • 2 years ago Unverified User

    as they say in China "if you don't like it, leave." Seems a lot of us are leaving and we don't like it.

  • 2 years ago sunsetlover

    Meanwhile, total FDI into China in all of 2016 by foreigners (not including Hong Kong) was just $30-35 billion. This is the next superpower? The numbers tell everything. And why should they come when they see the uneven treatment that foreign vs local firms are receiving by the authorities? Business-wise, China is a "has been" story.

  • 2 years ago casperXX

    More importantly is the question: WHO will be next...? Apparently blowing a whistle can be quite the lucrative job...... Watch out..the food gestapo might be in your midst....

  • 2 years ago Unverified User

    Closing down these venues is a bunch of BS, especially when they turn around and rent them right back out for triple the price. China's greed and the little 'red chop syndrome" giving ultimate power to a handful of smarmy little wankers needs to end. Lease breaking and picking apart foreign businesses isn't going to win any friends. China's economy is sinking fast, stimulus cash isn't going to pick up the slack for a failed plan.

  • 2 years ago Manchego Souffle Unverified User

    If they charged 90 rmb for a loaf of bread then they should've better be squeaky clean, no excuses. Well deserved. Any as a super positive externality less "social media influencers" ruining Wukang Lu lining up for an hour for an overhyped ice cream made with expired milk or raspberry tart sprinkled with weevils.

  • 2 years ago yhz Unverified User

    mancheco you are a loser

  • 2 years ago ooops Unverified User

    Apart from that Farine does have its own dirt (but who does not), I am more curious to watch who is going to rise from its ash. Rumor was heard that Pecol was thrown over to clean up the road for some one with stronger connection with the you-know-who.

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