Hold onto your butts, diners and drinkers, we’ve got a million things to tell you and less than 800 words to do it. Way too much going on in Hubin Dao, finally some closures to report, the start of Restaurant Week, and the continued tale of AB InBev, Devourer of Souls. Get in after the jump.
... and speaking of this Hubin Dao, seems like we’ve already spilled a lot of digital ink on the reemergence of Found 158 as a F&B hub, but there’s tons more stuff happening in Hubin Dao mall and it's basically gone unnoticed in English-language media. In addition to T8, a few other promising-looking players have also recently opened up shop in the Xintiandi mall. Well-reviewed Japanese BBQ chain Futago, with outlets in New York and HK, opened up their Shanghai location a few months back. Also already open is Banco Mozerella Pizzeria and Bar, which feels like a Bottega offshoot; Italian restaurant Primo is already clocking five-star reviews on Dianping; and “authentic Korean" resto Bap Bar is also now serving.
Beijing import Tribe is grandly opening on Friday on Fumin Lu. A little background: The restaurant in Beijing began its life... shall we say "very much indebted" to another restaurant / cafe in that city called Moka Bros. Both Beijing-originating chains were (and still are) riding the hip and healthy, organic food craze—read: power bowls for the Macbook army. For Shanghai points of reference, fans of Hunter Gatherer, Spoutworks, Nosh, and... yeah, the OG, Element Fresh might want to try this one out. SmSh will be by sometime for a review.
Star of the Day is a Japanese izakaya spot on Julu Lu with a ballpit. For adults. Need we say more?
HEAT French Rotisserie & Bistro is in soft open now, right next to Goose Island Brewhouse on Maoming Bei Lu. It’s… well, it’s all in the name, isn’t it? Ex-Chala chef attached.
Finally, some closings! We missed a few of these when they happened -- knew Shanghai couldn’t be this quiet. Quick rundown: Bowl’d is gone; so’s NYC Lounge. You know NYC Lounge? It’s a lounge on Xiangyang Bei Lu right next to Kartel. We walk past it every day and just noticed it was there because it was getting gutted.
We previously reported Captain Rooster as being closed for something. Turns out it wasn’t renovations. Barely two months into its year, the Rooster is dead. Sad. Yeah, they came to snuff the Rooster. There’s a new concept from Charlie of Charlie’s Burger moving in there, and soon. Milkshake bar? We’ll leave that there until we have something more concrete.
The Tailor Bar is closed! For renovations. According to the owners, "the old Tailor Bar is no menu, tailor made cocktails, a bit classy, old school and darker on lighting, new Tailor Bar will be a short list menu (Tailor recommendations) and tailor-made cocktails, modern, colorful, brighter.” Sorry to see that dark vibe go, we’ll let you know what it’s like when it’s open.
Finally, Bubba’s is closing. The land got reclaimed by the military and so they’re now officially in “soft closing” mode until around March 10. Basically, they’re just selling off what’s left of the stock and saying bye. No word yet on where / when they’ll be back.
The Word Around Town
First off, Pol Garcia of Pop Secret’s now at La Maison, with an all-new Asian-inspired European menu to complement their expanded wine list. The same people are also opening The Gatehouse at the end of the month, a kiosk right outside their gates that’ll be offering up seasonal takeaways; hot chocolate and churros, oysters and sparkling stuff, Jamon and wine, coffee and pastries, sandwiches and smoothies, Bill and Ted.
They’ve also announced a new “vegetable-forward concept” starting late spring on their third floor. It’s called Fleurt, which sounds okay when you say it out loud but looks awful when we write it, and it’s a reservations-only chef’s tasting menu, open at “weekly irregular hours.” Saucy.
We stuck our head into Capella, luxury hotel complex down on Jiangguo and managed a five-second eyeful until the bao'ans chased us out. Along with some designer clothing stores, the restaurant from admired Frenchman Pierre Gagnaire is going in and we saw a storefront marked "Sushi Taro-ten". Probably going to be dirt cheap sushi and all-you-can-drink Asahi. Not really. The whole complex was supposed to be open "March 2017" but looks like it's going to take longer.
That Mr. Banh Mi place that we couldn't find at first because they told us the wrong address is actually really a thing and it's opening this Sunday. It's coming to you from the people behind Cyclo, and it's right next to Avocado Lady.
In other news, Judy's is hiring! Not that Judy's on Tongren, that Judy's looks like this;
The new Judy’s on Tongren. Cashiers, bartenders, fuwuyuans, janitorial staff, bao’ans, the lot. Want to see what the back of a bar that’s been running since 1993 looks like? Apply now! A month at Judy’s will put hair on your chest and mettle in your soul.
And you can’t smoke inside anymore. Anywhere. Restaurants can get fined 20,000rmb for not enforcing the ban. Report offenders to 12345. Not joking.
Oh! It's the start of Restaurant Week. Get your cut-price deals to places you'll never be able to afford otherwise here.
Anheuser-Busch InBev: they're coming to eat your soul. We reported previously that multinational beverage and brewing company — they of Budweiser, Stella Artois, and Goose Island — had purchased the Kaiba chain. Now, they've added Shanghai's Boxing Cat Brewery to their fold. Hey AB InBev, SmSh has like three cans of Suntory in the office fridge. They're yours for 100rmb each. Let's talk!
Annnnnd what else. Jesus, we kicked our word-count into the ditch four paragraphs ago. Oh yeah. Last thing. Hearty congratulations to around-the-way pub Abbey Road celebrating their 10-year anniversary in March. Stop by the neighborhood eat and drinkery for 25rmb Tiger drafts and 25rmb sangria all summer-long. Their March food special is a 58rmb Chicken Lemonade dish. Love is all you need.
That's it for this week, Shanghai. Check back next week for more scandalous, unsubstantiated F&B gossip.