Shanghai Star — which looks seriously f*cked on both of our browsers — has a story about the uncertain future faced by two of Shanghai’s old Russian Orthodox churches. The Mission Church, at 55 Xinle Lu, used to house a bar/club called The Dome, but has sat empty since that place closed nearly two years ago. And then there is St. Nicholas Military Church, 18 Gaolan Lu. Its latest tenants, restaurant/bars Ashanti Dome and Boca, were kicked out in October. (There were rumors of Boca opening elsewhere, but we haven’t heard anything about that recently.)
“In October we were told to protect the building and the restaurant left,” an officer with Luwan District said about St. Nicholas, which the story says was spared demolition during the Cultural Revolution because local residents hung a big portrait of Mao from its dome. “I come here every day to make sure everything is secure — I don’t know what will happen in the end but at the moment it isn’t on the market for anything.”
According to the story, the order to close Ashanti Dome came down from the Central Government. A security guard who works nearby said it “definitely won’t be a bar or restaurant again.” But if it would be, we’ll bet you our left arm that the word “dome” will be somewhere in its name.
Photo of the inside of the Mission Church from Shanghai Diaries. For more photos of these churches go here.