We received this email today from a friend (and frequent eater of shengjian mantou):
A friend was just walking through the Wujiang Lu food street, which was like a ghost town today, and a little old guy told him that it’s about to be torn down… end of April, apparently. Have you heard about this?
Desperate tragedy for me… I think I will need to walk at least 5 blocks for XiaoYang dumplings now…
We haven’t been to Wujiang Lu in a while — but we figured perhaps a Shanghaiist reader had the scoop. Anyone have anything to share?
Last December, the Shanghai Daily translated a story from the Shanghai Morning Post that discusses the future of Wujiang Lu. We’ll reproduce it in full here, since you have to subscribe to the Shanghai Daily to access it (here’s the original Chinese version):
Snack road to facelift to fashion street
By Li Xinran 2006-12-1
THE city’s Wujiang Road, which is famous for its snack vendors, will receive a facelift and become a fashion street in the near future, Shanghai Morning Post reported today.
Part of the vendors will open again in March after nearly two years of renovations. The bid for the operation right of the vendors will be held in January.
Most of them will become fashion boutiques or restaurants, the newspaper said.
Old vendors, which are mainly concentrated on the street between Shimen Road and Qinghai Road, will also be renovated in the middle of next year.
The construction of two residential projects neighboring the 562-meter street kicked off renovation since the ground and second floors of the new buildings were designed for commercial use.
Jing’an Four Seasons, one of the two new residences, plans to introduce about 60 fashion boutiques or restaurants on its ground and second floors, whose total area is 11,000 square meters, said Zhu Feng, a project manager from Savills China, a properties service provider.
Wujiang Road, which is in the southeast of Jing’an district, starts from Shimen No. 1 Road and ends at Maoming Road N. It became a vendor street, especially known as a snack street, in September 2000, several months after the neighboring Shimen No. 1 Station of Metro Line No. 2 opened to the public.
The renovation of the street, which is considered as one of the city’s scenic sites, kicked off last March, according to the report.
The story isn’t exactly clear on what the future holds for the street’s current occupants, but the fact that the Four Seasons is involved doesn’t fill us with optimism about the fate of street food on the “fashion street.” If that is the case, it’s a shame — Wujiang Lu was full of life.
On the other hand, Shanghai’s millionaires desperately needed a new place to hang out. You can’t expect them to walk all the way to Plaza 66, can you?
Photo from tigerpink.