Sign In


These Four Developments Are Where You'll Be Eating in 2020

Look into my crystal ball.
2019-08-13 15:35:37
We love shiny new things. Bar, nightclubs, selfie spots and malls. So instead of just digging around for where one or two new places are going to be, I contacted Federico Rossi, the founder of commercial real estate agency Reco Real Estate, to tell me where the next big property developments are going to be, and what they’re going to be like. Rossi started the company at the end of 2017 and has quickly established himself as the go-to agent for expat F&B entrepreneurs around the city. He found Tai'an Table's current location for Stefan Stiller, was the sole agency to work on the Naked HUB Food Court, and did the leasing for Mixpace Zhongshan Park (where Homeslice is), among many other commercial deals. This guy knows who is planning what and when well into the future. Here, then, are four things to look out for the rest of this year and next.

Foodie Social by Xintiandi

Planned Opening: Mid 2020

The developer of Xintiandi is currently renovating the third floor of the mall on the South Block, the one that houses the movie theater and Din Tai Fung. When they’re finished, it will become a 3,000 square meter food “market” (don’t call it a food court) called Foodie Social with more than 400 seats and new concepts from some pretty well known chefs and restaurant groups in Shanghai, including one with a Michelin star. Not allowed to say who just yet, as they are still in the leasing process. The vibe is intended to be more upscale than a food court, with booze and sofas made for lounging.

Theatre X

Planned Opening: Early 2020

This is a massive development on the corner of Huaihai Lu and Yandang Lu that will open in several phases. The first phase, of 25,000 square meters, is expected to launch around January or February 2020, with 32 shops (including 7-9 restaurant spaces) on the ground floor, a food court in the basement, fashion agency Innersect taking over the second floor and then clubs and bars on the fourth and fifth floors. The big news here is that Tokyo’s teamLab, the digital art studio that blew up in Shanghai with their immersive environment at TANK, will be opening a 5,000 square meter, two-floor nightclub. No more info than that, but they do crazy work; expect craziness.

Joy City Phase Two

Planned Opening: End 2020

Joy City might not be high on the list of places to go for most expats, being in the newer part of Jing’an north of the creek, but it’s insanely popular with the rest of the city; the mall consistently ranks at the top of the field for foot traffic. That’s probably only going to grow as the district authorities plan to make this area a new Central Business District, and Joy City expands with the 20,000 square meter second phase. The leasing team is targeting expat nightlife to fill some of the freestanding villas on this new outdoor “shopping street”. If they’re successful, expect some well-known downtown breweries and now-shuttered bars and nightclubs to re-emerge here.

Yunhai Tower

Planned Opening: Winter 2019

This is the building on the southwest corner of Huaihai Lu and Baoqing Lu. Old-timers will remember it as the site of Bon Bon. Less-old-timers might remember nightclub (not Mexican restaurant) Maya. Those are all memories now, as a local developer has re-done the space completely. It’s totally leased out. The second floor is leased to a company who will be putting in a fully automated hotel named Boutique Smart Hotel. Maybe more interesting is that the developer also has the building next door, along Huaihai towards the post office, where the last crop of tenants included Kuta’s Kitchen and Mammamia. They are all gone now, and construction teams have renovated the façade of the building but, funnily enough, not the inside. Still going to be that dinky old elevator. Whoops.

The new tenants will include an izakaya on the first floor (not so different to before), a western restaurant where Mammamia used to be (not so different to before), the same tenants for third and fourth floor (Perry's will survive) and the fifth floor will become a bar. No names yet — still under wraps.