Let's just get straight into it. There's a brightly-lit-looking thing called Bulldog Bar-B-Q where Amelia's used to be on Julu Lu. It appears to be slinging ribs, brisket and chicken, cream of corn, mac'n'cheese and some beers. We'll stop by maybe and check it out.
That One Place reopened in exactly the same place it was in before it was shut down. Which is ridiculous. They still don't have their chairs in and they close at 9pm now to avoid irate neighbors looking to vent their bladders, but there you have it. It's back. Hallelujah. Full story here.
Cha's has reopened as well! Which is nice, it's a pretty well-regarded spot. Seems like it was just closed for some renovation or what-have-you, but it seems to be back on track.
Singapore Hainan Chicken & Pho has opened up on Changle Lu and has been gaining a bit of traction on the Chinese social webs. Both cuisines and dishes are fairly well-represented in town, but it seems like this one's creating a greatest-hits-of-two-cuisines venue. We can get behind that.
Sadly, we saw FIKA Sweden getting itself kicked out by an aggressive landlord and a poor leasing contract barely three months after opening. Which is a damn shame because this Swedish-Shanghainese passion-team made some awesome Swedish pastry. They're shifting to online for now and we'll see what the future holds for them.
We've also got some upcoming closings. Hello Miss Dong is closing April 1st, the same day as M&S's official bow-out, meaning there's one less reason to go down to the shattered, sun-bleached wreckage of YKL. On top of that, perennial blues, soul and jazz joint Cotton Club is closing this Saturday, March 25, with one last concert. The story is that the lease couldn't be renewed, which is, y'know, that's how it goes here. Closing the book on nearly two decades of that sweet, sweet blues in Shanghai. That place'll be missed.
Also all the Farines are closed for now. So is Rachel's, since their buns are made at the central kitchen in Minhang. Several other locations have been shut down due to the media scrum going on outside. Big news. We still don't really know where this is going, but we can take some guesses, and the outlook's... well, it's not good. You can follow the updates on our wire about the situation here.
The Word Around Town
Poke Poke poked around a bit, saw Portman needed a poke place, and so they're opening another Poke Poke there. They say it'll be smaller than the original on Changle Lu, focusing only on poke bowls. They expect it'll probably open up in May.
One-stop beer shop The Beer Lady is opening a new spot across from Yuyintang. This seems like a not-terrible idea, not just because it's across the street from Yuyintang, but because The Beer Lady's a decent place with lots of beers.
You may have heard that Tepito is changing its name back to Cantina Agave. First off, apart from That One Place, I think this might be only the second time I've ever changed a listing from "closed" to "open" instead of vice versa. Are these the End Times? Probably not, mostly because in this case, it's just a rebranding and some shuffling around of the menu. The Tepito/Cantina Agave people had this to say;
After a year of having Tepito and loving it we just kept getting hammered about Cantina still and sometimes you just gotta listen to your loyal customers and give them what they want... it was time to go back to Cantina but now it'll be an upgraded Cantina. New refreshed menu, new furniture and new Cantina sign. All prices have been slashed across the board and some of the old favorites are coming back.
So that sounds nice. The all you can drink margarita brunches will be making a return as well. They won't be closing down, the menu and signage should be set by the week of April 10, and the new furniture should be in towards the end of April.
International Waffle Day is this Saturday. Fantastic news.
There's a brand new spot opening up where Captain Rooster used to be. It's called The Milkshake Bar, brought to you in partnership with Charlie's. It looks like it's going to have burgers, chicken like Captain Rooster, and fancy milkshakes. Some really decadent looking desserts, too. Should open in the next maybe two or three weeks, which in Shanghai could mean... August? But probably two or three weeks.
Finally, in the most important news of the century; Perry's is opening up a new location in Pudong. We found out when we went there for... a thing, and found out that a) they don't open at 11am anymore, b) they still hadn't cleaned the St. Paddy's day vomit off the windows on Tuesday, and c) they'd hung this poster up on the door.
And I beheld a pale horse, and his name that sat on him was...
Oh, actually, semi-relevant news, that place that was called Leo's is now called Ellen's but has nothing to do with that Ellen's.
So there you go, Shanghai. Just a million things happening, as usual. Check back next week for hopefully nothing at all, just like a taco pop-up or a new dumpling place or something, but realistically, probably expect more scandalous, unsubstantiated F&B gossip.