Shanghaiist received an anonymous tip a few days ago that Laris, brainchild of restauranteur, David Laris, was scheduled to shut down soon but with the breaking news of the catastrophe in Jing’an, we had to put that story on the back burner. Nonetheless, intrigued to hear that such a highly visible venue on the Shanghai food scene might be on the verge of closure, we had to investigate.
Our several calls to Laris himself went unanswered so today, we finally trooped down to the Bund to see for ourselves and yes, the rumors are true. A large sign posted on the sixth floor at 3 on the Bund read that it’s “closed for renovations”. The building’s security guards said the restaurant closed down on Saturday and in it’s place will be a “宴会厅” (roughly translates to banqueting hall, whatever that means,) but it doesn’t look like Laris will be involved with the future venture.
Reportedly, the closure has been a well known rumor in the F&B crowd for a while and there may have been some animosity involved in it’s demise stemming from Laris’ celebrity and numerous outside projects. We hear he’s only been a consultant to the restaurant that bears his name for some time but also when it came down to it, business was just too slow for the fine dining establishment–it never recovered from the financial crisis and the ripping apart of the Bund for the Expo exacerbated problems.
If you’re a huge fan of Laris, don’t worry. It’s but a small dent in his dining empire. You can still get a piece of him at The Fat Olive or Martini Bar or Slice or Barbie Cafe or well, you get the drift.