We’re not exactly sure what it is about this winter that’s causing a sudden spate of closings – is it just a terrible coincidence? – but several well-known institutions around the city are shuttering or have shuttered their doors. Sometime recently, costumed restaurant ICONs was cleaned out and replaced with a nightclub called Ming. Then we were hit by news that The Uighur Restaurant (on 1 Shaan Xi Nan Lu) had closed, to the dismay of everybody who loved joining in a Xinjiang conga line halfway through your meal.And then went City Diner and the adjoining seedy bar M-Zone on Tongren Lu last week, according to a tipster.
And now… now not only are we saying goodbye to food street Wujiang Lu, which will be completely demolished and relocated into a sanitized mall-like environment (boooo) come Chinese New Years, we’ve also gotten word (from another tipster) that Exit Bar in the razzy 528 Kanding Lu alley is down for the count as well. How dreary.
Restaurants may be bidding adieu, but it seems like we might be seeing the start of another trend – restaurateurs opening bars:
- A couple weeks ago, we talked to Marty Campaign, formerly of Glamour Bar and now the GM of soon-to-be-opened El Willy project, El Coctel. El Coctel will feature Japanese-style cocktails, mismatched furniture and a groovy vibe that both Campaign and “Willy” Moreno say will be quite unlike anything else in Shanghai. It’ll be located right above The Shelter on Yongfu Lu.
- Meanwhile, from SmartShanghai comes news that the owners of Franck have their own bar in the works. Called Ferg & Sons, it’ll be a “retro bar-snack, old-school NYC style, with no tables and only a horseshoe bar.”
All we need is one more (trends come in three, you know) to officially call this the new black. As for other restaurant news:
- Gourmet Cafe is now doing breakfast, though it only lasts from opening til around 11:30am, even on weekends. We’re hoping they maybe extend it so that their English Patent isn’t the only breakfast-like food we can get at Brunch.
- If you’re up for it, there’s some absolutely crazy sounding thing at Tianzifang (155 Taikang Lu) on Wednesday where you eat four courses and drink four wines at four different restaurants in one night. Hit up either New York Style Steak & Burger, Bacaro, Origin or Five at 7:30pm and crawl your way through the others over the course of the night. Call 54651676 to participate.
- According to Urbanatomy, Cool Docks has been taken over by teh gays. We guess they’re talking about D2, which opened there sometime last year, though – since we haven’t made it up there since that club came to be – we wouldn’t know if that upper Bund area has gotten LGBT-friendly in other ways as well.