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Shanghai Tang, EQ Opening New Spots, District Set To Close Far Too Soon, and Evil Spirits Loom

Dec 1, 2017 | 17:01 Fri
A Bunch of F&Bs: The weekly dose of what's new and hot in Shanghai's F&B scene.
This week in openings; we've got a fancy upscale place from Shanghai Tang, Nordic eatery EQ expands, and two new Chinese clubs, Ignite Shanghai and TAXX on the horizon that look just delightful. In closings, big news, District is closing in the very, very near future. Get your last Duvels this weekend. Finally, something looms on the horizon. Something dark. Something red. Something... not quite right.


Now Open

The restaurant arm of Shanghai Tang has just, this very day, opened a brand new location on the 5th floor of the Bund Financial Center. Did you know they had a restaurant arm? I didn't. They're just called Shanghai Tang which is... confusing. But it is exceedingly swanky. The swank is strong with this one. The cuisine remains high-end dim sum.

On a more populist level, well-regarded Shanghainese joint The Rice Garden opens a new spot in the basement floor of Gopher Center. That's an odd name. It appears to be serving up very excellent rice dishes based on organic Wuchang rice, though early rumblings suggest the service is a little lackluster. It's reportedly from the people behind similarly well-regarded hotpotters Holy Cow.


Ignite Shanghai is aiming to do that

In Chinese club news, Ignite Shanghai has opened up above Huaihai Zhong Lu. One-third lounge-ish bar with a long whisky list (open now), the remaining two-thirds are a big ol' club that's opening now. China Social Club are playing there! Ignite Shanghai's a great name. Sounds like the final dying orders given by a Bond villain. Fire it up! Fire it up!

Wagas, which seems to never tire of launching new concepts, has opened up Lokal by Wagas. It looks more like a French cafe sort of thing, with an emphasis on pastry and sandwiches.

Also open, Woo at the InterContinental Puxi has been replaced by another bar/lounge called The Avenue. It looks like this;


Pictures courtesy of the InterCon Puxi

Damn. Leopard print and marble floors. Bold.

Casualty List

District is closing. The street-corner outpost for Duvel has been a bastion for laid-back, chill good times (with pie), attracting a more considerate, less... bro-y clientele than your typical beer bar. Keeping it classy, keeping it real, keeping it down-to-earth. Unfortunately, the harsh realities of the F&B world decreed that District was not to be, and therefore it shall not. Closing party is on Sunday, though it may linger for a few days after, until the transfer of ownership of the venue is complete. This technically means that it could saved at the last minute. Perhaps by a crowd-funding campaign. But that's unlikely. Sad, sad day. I really liked District.


In other closing news, Tiki China appears to have shut, which is odd, because I thought tiki drinks were coming back to haunt us, like a drunken college fling or a rash. Wagas on Donghu closes for some serious, serious renovations (and a possible rebranding?). Also, a single Yidiandian outlet in Putuo closed, due to a spurious-sounding cockroach scandal. Loyal patrons will have to suffer an extra 25-meter walk for their juice tea thing.

The Word Around Town

After nearly two years of laying fallow, the prime streetfront patio that used to be Southern Belle appears to be under construction! That, or they finally got around to emptying out the interior. We saw people carrying couches out. Have those been there this whole time? Jesus.


Austin Hu's Diner has added in a second floor entitled D2F. That's a play on Tinder's favorite abbreviation for "down to fuck." Some wilting flowers maybe have been unwilling, or unable, to spell that out for you. Here, we can say the word fuck. It's more of an event/pop-up space. Expect chef's tables. Austin's first series will probably be starting in a few weeks or so.

The "Good Mood Food" guys at EQ/Equilibrium are opening up a new spot on Yanping Lu. Also called EQ (two-letter names really screw with our directory guys, just saying, thanks), it's looking like it'll offer the same Danish-inspired healthy-living food. Looks to be open in the near future.


Wonderland, the kind of whack-ass Alice-in-Wonderland-themed bar on Xinzha Lu is now wholly Chinese-owned. The let's say divisive bartender Johan Holmberg, as well as his partner, have GTFO'd after "irreconcilable differences" with their Chinese partner. The bar will continue without their input.

That new Chinese club called The Angle of X or TAXX Shanghai, I've heard both versions, the one that describes itself as another Myst is opening up next week on Friday down in the lost Valley of the Kings.

In other news, Daniel An's new version of Tastebuds, The Antique, officially opened last night. You can see what we thought of it when the doors first opened here. They have a menu now, it looks like a nice mix of stuff. Also, one-month barrel aged cocktails! And they'll probably mix you a Ramos Gin Fizz if you ask. You should try and ask.


Finally, big news. BIGGG news. Made you wait for it. Word on the streets (and from the dude sitting next to me in the SmSh office) is that the guys from Yuyintang are opening another place in Jing'an off Beijing Lu. Here, I'll just let him... here.

"Punk rock, sleaze-hole, reprobate dive bar is the genre, although without the live bands. More of a cheap, cheap, cheap pub, whiskey pit and bottle shop, with flavors of punk rock music on the stereo always. All Husker Du, all the time. It's a place where everybody knows your name (and hates your face). Don't have a picture because it's a construction site. Here's our Misfits/Samhain rip of a logo."


Disclaimer: So yeah. We know this because one of SmSh editors is himself a partner at it. Didn't have to go very far for this one. Do with that information what you will. But yeah, you stay in Shanghai long enough, everyone gets to lose all their money on a bar! It's called Specters -- as in "a specter is haunting Shanghai" -- and will start serving towards the end of December, probably, but who the fuck knows, right?

The Happenings

Menus, Deals, Parties, Whatever

The Shanghai Baconfest is happening this weekend. It's a chance for bacon artisans, bacon aficionados, bacon mystics and bacon enthusiasts to get together, sample bacon dishes, compete for bacon glory, and die of bacon poisoning with bacon bliss writ large on their features. Tickets are 150rmb pre-sale or 200rmb on the door.

Tomatito has changed its lunch hours. So... know that.

Whooow! Christmas markets! Paulaner's Christkindlmarkt this weekend! One in Tonglefang as well! Curry wurst! Mulled wine! Breadzels! Christmas! CHRISTMASSSSSSS


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