As you also may have heard, the French bakery Paul‘s opened its second branch last Sunday at Xintiandi, facing Starbucks (For the record, guys from the communications department back in France told us it wouldn’t open before September. Good job!). We thought, finally a famous and reliable bakery in Shanghai, conveniently located, and thankfully not on the outskirts of the city.
As we got up this morning, we were already delighted at the idea that we would have lunch at Paul. We could already hear the sweet sound of the bread crust of their baguette sandwiches, taste the rich butter of their viennoiseries, and see the wooden shelves, behind the counter, full of different kinds of bread. Just like home.
As we crossed Taicang Road, up to the entrance of Xintiandi, we were surprised that no one appeared to be in the shop. It was only when we got at the door that we could see the unbelievable: Paul was closed.
A note was left on the door, apologising to the “dear Paul customers”, that the store was closed due to “renovation works”, and that it should re-open “soon”. Adding to our dismay, no date was specified.
Out of despair, we called the manager of Paul’s Pudong branch, to inquire about what happened (boy, his French accent was so sexy we forgot to ask for his name). He said that the problem came from the window, which was not kept cold enough to display food items. With the high temperatures in Shanghai over the last two or three days, the window’s refrigeration system failed to be set at the required 4°C, and it was not safe to display food there. They would have it repaired overnight he said (apparently there are rules in Xintiandi which prevent them from doing repair works during the day) and Paul should re-open tomorrow morning. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!
We also heard that the first 3 days of business at Paul’s (Sunday to Tuesday) was “absolutely crazy” — it was packed all day and they had customers until 2am. Yes, Paul is open until 2am everyday… Let there be bread!