A brief note regarding the City Diner we told you about not too long ago: We have learned that it is supposed to open this week, either today or Friday, depending on who you believe. We assume the source that said today is reliable, because he was seated in one of the City Diner’s booths working on a computer. We’ll explain: We ate at Eat, Drink, Man, Woman on Saturday (delicious, as always) and afterwards decided to snoop around upstairs to see what the diner was looking like. Honestly, it looked a lot like Eat, Drink, Man, Woman — the same beige pseudo-suede upholstery. We were kind of hoping for some red vinyl and at least one jukebox. The only things that really screamed “diner” were the retro Coca-Cola fridge, the hanging lights and the neon sign outside. So, we figured they still had some redesigning to do. But the guy with the computer sitting in the booth (who we didn’t notice at first — good thing we didn’t steal that wine) said it was scheduled to open on Monday. And who would doubt a guy sitting in a booth working on a computer? Well, we would. We just called iiiit!, another one of Eduardo Vargas’s establishments, and they said the City Diner will open Friday, but that it didn’t have a phone number yet. If any of you decide to go with the computer guy’s word, let us know what you find.
Also, this weekend we heard an (old?) rumor that Moon River Diner was planning on opening a new location in Shanghai Center, City Supermarket’s current spot to be exact. And that City Supermarket was moving to the basement, which is indeed undergoing renovations right now. We asked the concierge at the Portman Ritz-Carlton — we’re just full of reliable sources today, aren’t we? — and he said that was most definitely not true. The post office, pharmacy, laundry and shoe shine will move back to the basement (they are currently temporarily on the second floor) once renovations are finished. Then we called Moon River Diner and Amy confirmed that they had no downtown Puxi plans, but they might be making changes to their Gubei branch. Two diners within a couple minutes of each other might have been too much (but Shanghaiist wouldn’t have complained).
It also came to our attention that lots of people don’t really know what diners are. An Aussie friend asked us to define it and we really didn’t know how — it’s just a diner. Wikipedia can help out those of you in the dark about diners: “A diner is a prefabricated restaurant building characteristic of North America, especially in New Jersey and other areas of the Northeast. Diners are a favorite pop culture memory for many.” It goes on from there.
ShanghaiExpat forum users make the case for a Waffle House in Shanghai (If you don’t know what a Waffle House is and have never heard the phrase “scattered, smothered and covered” you should go here.)
City Diner is located on the third floor of 146 Tongren Lu, near Nanjing Xi Lu, directly above Eat, Drink, Man, Woman restaurant.