Great news out of Jarrett Wrisley’s restaurant and bar gossip column this week in SH (especially if you live near Tongren Lu like Shanghaiist does):
While Moon River keeps the green suburbs stocked with thick milkshakes, omelettes and apple pie, downtown still desperately needs an American-style diner. Enter Eduardo Vargas, who, along with plans to open about five more iiiit! sandwich and salad shops, has quickly put together a new restaurant which is the answer to all our late-night prayers. The new City Diner will be located on the second floor of Tongren Lu’s Eat, Drink, Man, Woman, a great Taiwanese restaurant which unfortunately isn’t busy enough to fill its cavernous space. The City will feature simple diner food like all-day breakfasts, desserts and burgers and sandwiches, with a few brasserie-style offerings thrown in the mix (steak frites at 4am does seem like a damn good idea). The best part about this new diner is that it will never close – finally, at long last, a 24-hour western restaurant is upon us. Fire up that jukebox.
Shanghaiist is like a Manhattanite who never visits the boroughs — we can hardly ever be bothered to head to Hongqiao or Pudong. So this is very welcome news. And Eduardo is one of the most consistent restaurateurs in town — we love all of his places. We’d like to know when this place will open … or if it is already open. Anyone know?
Jarrett mentions Eat, Drink, Man, Woman. Agreed, the place is tasty, especially the desserts. They are also home to what must be the best drink special in town: 35 RMB all you can drink. We have never tried it, and have always figured there must be a catch. A regular Tsingtao costs 25 RMB — 10 kuai more and you can drink all day? Worth investigating.
Other things we have heard recently that are worth noting:
- Ken Walker, the man who is bringing Texas barbecue to Shanghai, has informed us that he has found a location and plans to open in about a month and a half: “We signed the location last week … 2262 Hong Qiao Lu, right smack next to the Marriott Hotel. Renovations are underway. It is the former location of the Dragon Bar, and needs a little bit of work to turn it into a ‘que ‘joint.’ Plus we have to build out the kitchen to accomodate the smoker.” We’re first in line when they open.
- While Shanghai is still a very dog unfriendly city, it seems a few bars and restaurants are starting to treat man’s best friend as, well, a friend. We have heard (
unconfirmedconfirmed) reports that Cotton’s outdoor beer garden is dog friendly. We can confirm that O’Malley’s newly remodeled outdoor area is open to dogs — but it is also open to tons of kids … and they like to try to feed dogs sand (repeatedly). Finally, Senses is officially cool with canines in their patio. We got an email from Carol Wolfson, of Second Chance Animal Aid, the wonderful organization that helped us adopt the cutest puppy on the planet back in January. She writes: “Dog Day! Matt Ryan of Senses Wine Lounge is hosting a fundraiser for us on 21 May at his place. 10am-6pm with live music, food, wines, etc. and he’ll give 10% of the bar take to SCAA. We are inviting all our members (and friends) to bring their rescued dogs and pet dogs so should be great fun…hoping you can join us!” Help support a great cause.
- We’ve heard that there is an Iranian restaurant opening in town. It would be the first, we think. We don’t know where or when yet, but will let you know when we know.
- Backyard Cafe have expanded their menu. It’s still affordable, and a great place to relax outside. (We saw someone with a dog there the other day, too.)
- We have decided to lift our boycott of the old Cotton’s location and will be in attendance at the grand opening party tonight at Freelance, about which we have heard nothing but good things. By the sound of it, everyone else in Shanghai will be there, too. See you there.
Image from saucemagazine.com. This logo is from a City Diner in St. Louis, Missouri.