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Hot New Coffee Shop % Arabica Gets Shut Down in 5 Hours for Operating Without License
By Feb 14, 2018 Dining
That's gotta be some kind of record. % Arabica, a well-regarded Japanese coffee brand with overseas locations in Hong Kong, Kuwait and Dubai, opened its first mainland China branch yesterday in our very own Ferguson Lane. It managed to serve coffee to a jam-packed line of enthusiasts for about 5 hours, before uniformed officers showed up and promptly shut the place down for operating without the correct licenses. As of this morning, the place still isn't open. Whoops.


People had been lining up since early morning yesterday, some traveling from Suzhou and Hangzhou to stand in line for 30-45 minutes. Though the coffee brand's been sold for a while now in shops around Shanghai, this was their first brick and mortar venue in Mainland China, with another rumored to be in the works.

According to, uniformed officers from Xuhui District showed up at about 3pm and "inquired" about the operation. Shortly afterwards, the shop closed, saying they'd run out of supplies. Authorities told a reporter that it was because it didn't have one of the necessary food licenses yet. Apparently % Arabica had applied for all the correct licenses, but opened before it got final approval. Not an uncommon practice. It's pronounced "soft opening."

About 1/3 of the line yesterday (apologies for cameraphone images)

The space itself can hold maybe 15 people sitting on a bench

As of this morning, the place was still closed with no word about when they might restart operations. Meanwhile, you can get your coffee just around the corner at Farine... oh.


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