Looking ahead, 2018 sees some big names making waves, one of which is Starbucks. The company has recently acquired Princi, a popular Milan bakery chain to become the exclusive food offering in all new Starbucks Roastery locations, including the Starbucks Roastery and Tasting Room at Taikoo Hui mall, which is set to open by the end of the year. The bakery is known for their focaccia, pizza, and fresh breads, and for being open 24/7.
From the rumor mill, we hear that Jones The Grocer, an Australian grocery retail franchise is thinking about coming back to China. They first tried to make moves to Shanghai when iapm was starting out, but things didn’t pan out then. They’ve supposedly run into new VC money and are looking to re-enter.
The corner lot on Anfu Lu once belonging to cafe/bar Piccolo has new parents. Cafe RAC Coffee resides on the street front, but there’s more currently being worked on towards the back. We’re waiting for confirmation, but we hear “crepes” are in order.
Over on Xiangyang Nan Lu is new bar Laundry Co. Surprise, it’s a speakeasy. Run by the same people behind other speakeasy Barber Shop, this one uses a laundromat as a front. Around the corner is an elevator that takes you up to the bar.
El Willy is closing in January for renovations, from January 1 to February 6. They'll be doing a bit of refurb and clean up while the rest of the chef crew take their annual foodspiration trip, this time to Mexico.
Cabra says goodbye.
Kelley Lee isn’t done with the year yet. She’s taken over the space formerly housing Spanish restaurant Cabra on Wuding Lu and will be opening 45 Degrees this December. It’ll have beer, bar bites and nitro coffee...with Cafe del Volcan taking up the downstairs space.
Further down from Lee’s new project is Gout de Terroir, a somewhat unethical operation. The two guys running it had come from Chop Chop Club, and Jean Georges before that, and have decidedly chosen to serve close replicas of the food from those establishments.
For example, they serve a whole-baked pumpkin, salmon dill crostini, and grilled beef tongue that’s exactly like the one at Chop Chop. The food isn’t the same caliber of course, but it’s not bad. We can at least hope when dishes are copied, they’re done well. Still, it is frustrating to see blatant rip-offs, and we can hope that the new year brings more conscientious restaurateurs and more honest enterprises.
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