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A Bunch of F&Bs: So Many Ends of Eras, Manhattan reopens...

Closings, openings, and shakeups in the food and booze world…
2022-12-14 21:00:00
The weekly dose of what's new and hot in Shanghai's F&B scene.

Been a hot minute since we compiled one of these F&Bs gossip column things. Lots of change and upheaval. Hope springs eternal in the food and bev biz with tons of new openings in the past few months and lots of great and interesting new places to eat and drink at.


Pour One Out: Recent Closures of Note

Announced via a heartfelt WeChat post yesterday, Strictly Cookies is shuttering operations after more than 12 years of service as Shanghai go-to cookie solution. Opening at the outset of a wave of DIY start-up food businesses, Strictly Cookieswas something of a pioneer, showing you could really grown something in this city from the ground up if you had a couple of great home recipes, some creativity and a viewpoint, and a willingness to work hard.

Owner Lexi Comstock writes: "After 12 years of running Strictly Cookies, I've decided the current operating environment remains too tricky, and we will close our cookie doors in a few weeks. December will be our last month."


After 11 years and three different iterations around the city, Shanghai's beloved metal bar and Satan's favorite hangout Inferno raised their last goat horn stein at the end of November. Along with the other tenants in United Valley, they had it worse than most with constant shut-downs throughout most of 2022 and insufficient rent relief. A few other businesses have likewise vacated the F&B hub, including craft kitchen Anarkia and cocktail lounge / club Mushroom.

No plans have been announced yet for an Inferno Vol. 4 but with the deep community support they've got, we're expecting them to come back eventually if they can find a location and get an opportunity to make it work. Metal never diiiiiies.


Times continue to be tough if you've got a Bund address. Another erstwhile beloved restaurant Heritage by Madison has also gone gently into the night. And so it goes...


Fill ‘Er Up: Recent Openings

In a development that proves the universe operates like a somersaulting pinwheel of irony and justice, one of Shanghai's most iconic... um... nightlife destinations Manhattan is reopening in a new location on December 15.The location: 56 Maoming Nan Lu.

For real. It's a gesture that pretty much invites us all to just straight-up erase the last 20 years or so and at this point, why not? Let's rip it up and start again. I'm up for a classic Maoming Lu bar crawl. Who's got the rights to Taco Popo?


Keeping it in the nightlife vein, fairly big news for a section of the clubbing world. The creative minds behind two of Shanghai's more popular and representative clubs, Arkham and Le Baron have teamed up to launch Basement Never Sleeps (BNS), a high concept art gallery by day and dance club by night. Both Arkham and Le Baron were known for their international bookings back in the day, so maybe they're poised for some of that if the mandatory quarantine rules for international travellers drop to a manageable level. BNS is in that fancy schmancy new development off Hengshan Lu. Lots of interesting things going in there. (See below.)


Lots of great new little cocktails bars out there these days. If you missed it, we featured Camera Stylo, Ginetics, and Dentree. All of those are worth checking out for various reasons. Another new one we haven't written up yet: Ground Control in the (very depressing) United Valley. Up on the second floor, this is the latest thing from the guy behind Rastaco. Ground Control is basically Rastaco in a chill lounge setting, with the main selling point is that he makes you those excellent tacos and nachos late into the night. Food available as long as they're open (usually like 4am). We'll be back.

Speaking of New Eats...

Looking back on our recently featured venues. The new-newness we're recommending is High Yaki The Sea, a seafood variation of the super popular High Yaki; Efes Restaurant, a Turkish / Mediterranean place with a hugely varied menu and quality smoked meat; and ØSP —Ømakase, Savøur, and Pøp — just for the esoteric absurdity of it. Click on any of those to find out what the deal is.

But yeah hope springs eternal. Tons of new places have dinged on our radar that we haven't even had a chance to check out yet. Chef about town Lucky Lasagna has a new one called Bambino — looks quite homey; something called Mind Yakiniku has now assumed to space of Element Fresh on Donghu Lu, serving quality Japanese BBQ; Chef Sergio Moreno has opened something called La Siesta — tapas and sangria; and there's a new slick-looking brewhouse out in Minhang called We Brew.

Will have to get our beer drinking shoes on for that one...