Jing'an is replete with new things and new vibes
There is never a dearth of new things in Jing’an, a downtown district hailed as the modern and international face of Shanghai. Fancy stores are emerging around all corners. From Instagrammable cafe to pop-up fair, let’s check out some of the hottest spots in the district.
Address: 106D, 1376 Nanjing Rd W.
As the name suggests, CAUDEX has something to do with plants. But it’s not a florist shop. It’s a cafe decorated with green plants.
Nestling in the middle of two outdoor spiral stairs of Shanghai Center, it looks like a small greenhouse paved with cobbled ground, and potted plants and laboratory glassware placed on shelves. Only a coffee machine and the bar counter in the middle of the shop reveal that it’s actually a coffee shop.
According to the shop owner, surnamed Yan, nearly 30 potted tubers are displayed, such as pachypodium rosulatum, commonly known as elephant’s foot plant.
“These plants grow slowly, which fits our concept to create a ‘slow living’ space in the hustle and bustle of city life,” he said. “The ground is paved with small stones, gravels and rocks, the same as the pots, so as to turn the shop into a huge pot where every customer can feel like a plant and enjoy a ‘slow living’ lifestyle.”
Currently, only coffee, tea and water are available on the menu, but Yan is trying to combine plants and coffee and develop new coffee drinks.
Address: L1-31/32, MOHO Mall, 699 Jiangning Rd
Of all the Italian restaurants in Shanghai, Alimentari is widely regarded as one of the best.
Before the opening of Alimentari Piazza in MOHO Mall, it had three outlets in Jing’an: Alimentari Degusteria on Jiaozhou Road, Alimentari Grill in Shan Kang Li and Alimentari Mulino in Feng Shen Li.
Like the previous locations, the new store also combines the concept of Italian grocery store with kitchen, offering a selection of Italian pickles, cold cuts, cheeses and other delicacies.
What makes it different is that it is located near MOHO’s grand round outdoor plaza, an atmosphere redolent of iconic Italian piazzas where the best coffee shops and restaurants open, and people rendezvous with others on a lazy afternoon. “We hope to recreate the scene here in Shanghai,” said Coco, one of the founders of Alimentari.
MOHO Mall has become a new landmark in Jing’an after it opened last month. It features a red-brick courtyard, a retro bell tower and other old Shanghai-style elements in its décor to echo with the vibes of a heritage-listed and century-old shikumen lane-house building standing in front of the mall — the former site of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of Communist Party of China.
The site was used by the CPC to read and store classified documents between the end of 1927 and June 1931.
Now, the mall aims to create a trendy place. So, it has introduced more than 50 first stores, and planned a special area to promote a new fashionable lifestyle.
CR Department Store
Address: Jing’an Now Space Phase II, Lane 273 Jiaozhou Rd
With the opening of the Jing’an Now Space Phase II, pop-up lifestyle fair brand Common Rare has smelled a new business opportunity.
Jing’an Now Space, tucked away in a narrow alleyway, is an Instagrammable creative park known for a building with sheer white facades and walls. Its Phase II space opened recently, and Common Rare came to hold a pop-up fair: CR Department Store.
It will run through April 2, with 14 brands distributed over three floors. They sell furnishings, fragrances, illustrations and other products that young trendsetters may like.
Besides, different themed events will be held on weekends, such as flea markets, pet adoption and workshops.
Another highlight of the Phase II space is ØSP, hailed as one of Shanghai’s restaurants where it is hardest to get a reservation. It claims to be the world’s first fashion boutique-style restaurant. ØSP stands for omakase, savor and pop.
Notably, Japanese fashion icon Hiroshi Fujiwara had a hand in its interior design.
Address: 138 Wujiang Rd
It’s the second store of the Jing’an-based Half-Hour coffee shop chain after its first opened on Nanyang Road last year.
Figures show that across Shanghai, Nanjing Road W. has the highest density of coffee shops. So, Half-Hour opened stores on backstreets like Nanyang and Wujiang roads of the bustling area in a bid to take advantage of its coffee vibe.
Aiming to create a community among young people, the coffee shop has designed themed events and products for every month, like flower and coffee set in February for Valentine’s Day. Next month, it will create an outdoor camping area for people to enjoy coffee and the spring breeze.