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First Bite: Sproutworks

Just two weeks after closing down her molecular cocktail lounge The Alchemist, restaurateur Kelley Lee has unveiled her newest restaurant Sproutworks at the corner of Donghu and Xinle Lu. Those of...
Last updated: 2015-11-09
Just two weeks after closing down her molecular cocktail lounge The Alchemist, restaurateur Kelley Lee has unveiled her newest restaurant Sproutworks at the corner of Donghu and Xinle Lu.

Those of you who remember this space in its previous incarnation will probably wonder what happened to the gigantic rock formation. It's still there, and it's not going anywhere. It's an historic relic. Lee and co. weren't allowed to touch it. But it didn't say anywhere on the lease that they couldn't cover it up. And cover it up they did. When I saw the design in progress, I was skeptical. The formation, beautiful as it was, was always an elephant in the room, reducing available seating to small ring of tables (though, let's be fair; the space was never original intended as a restaurant). It was hard to imagine that encasing the rock in a silo blocks and shelving units would improve an already awkward floor plan. Yet, in spite of a few cramped corners, it seems to work. It makes nearly every table feel private and secluded.

The concept is quick-serve soups, salads and sandwiches. You queue up at the front counter and they serve you cafeteria style.

TELL EVERYONE