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Weekend Casualties: Laowai Jie to Be Dismantled?
By Sep 11, 2017 Dining
The latest in the ongoing game of Sim City that is the F&B business in Shanghai: Local officials have announced that major Hongqiao food street Laowai Jie (AKA "Hongmei Entertainment Street" and "Foreigner Street") could be the next area to be harmoniously relocated to some other area that is not illegal. I'm guessing... a mall. The Shanghai Daily reports: "The structures on Lao Wai Jie were built temporarily after 1999 to make life convenient for nearby residents,” said Wang Mingqiang, director of housing administration at the city’s housing and urban-rural construction and management commission. Their temporary permits expired in 2005, he said."

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Not just a snappy name, the area is home to over 30 restaurants and bars, representing countries from around the world -- Canada, the US, Germany, Thailand, France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Australia. Of course, where there are dedicated restaurant and bar streets there are angry residents. The article goes on to detail the standard Shanghai-style street war between city residents and restaurateurs. (Hurled feces!) It seems the residents are finally turning the tide in the battle. Said the city official: “We are going to end the illegal Lao Wai Jie, but I believe the restaurants will get better on a legal one,” he said.

No word yet on when Laowei Jie's illegal structures will be dismantled or where these restaurants might end up. Or what will become of the Shanghai business dude diaspora, left to wander the city streets looking forlornly for schnitzel and a happy hour deal.

Perhaps it's time for another bar crawl for the truth.

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