A 110-year-old eatery to reopen after a major revamp

A more than century-old city eatery will reopen at the end of the month after a renovation to restore its traditional ambiance, service and food.
Ti Gong

A meeting of district officials, street store owners and experts is held in Xuhui District to discuss how to restore the popularity of local time-honored brands and street businesses.

A more-than-century-old city eatery will reopen at the end of the month after a renovation to restore its traditional ambiance, service and food.

Customers of the Qiaojiashan Restaurant will be able to dine on traditional local specialty liang mian huang (both sides yellow) fried noodles, hear Shanghai dialect, and view decorations dating back to the 1930s.

The traditional eatery on Xiangyang Road S., within the Hengshan-Fuxing Historical Conservation Zone, began operation in 1909 near the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). 

It originally operated in the city’s old town and moved to its current site in Xuhui District in 1939.

Madam Soong Ching Ling (1893-1981), Peking Opera master Mei Lanfang (1894-1961), legendary poet Xu Zhimo (1897-1931) and Kunqu Opera artist Yu Zhenfei (1902-1993) were  frequent customers. Peking Opera master Zhou Xinfang (1895-1975) once wrote an inscription after tasting the Shanghai cuisine.

However, despite its reputation among locals, especially the elderly, business slowed in recent years as a result of competition from many new stylish restaurants.

The parent company of Qiaojiashan decided on the renovation last year when it could only make ends meet, said Cao Fengying, general manager of the operation department of Shanghai Newroad Commercial Group.

The restaurant's interior has been restored to the style of the 1930s, along with its signage.

The group has also hired some young entrepreneurs who have opened a score of successful restaurants in the city to operate Qiaojiashan. 

All the operators are locals in their 30s who have a great deal of affection for the time-honored brand, Cao said. 

The management team also hopes that the renovated restaurant can attract younger customers, she added.

Zhang Yinzi / Ti Gong

An artist's impression of the Qiaojiashan Restaurant after renovation.

The group has made plans to revive the other time-honored brands it owns in the city. 

The Shanghai Second Food Hall, dating back to 1920, will be renovated to better compete with online shopping.

The reopening of the Qiaojiashan restaurant has been supported by the Xuhui government which wants to develop characteristic small street businesses within the historic conservation zone. 

A panel discussion among district officials, street store owners and experts was held in Xuhui on Thursday to discuss how to restore the popularity of local time-honored brands and street businesses.

Many legislators want to retain the city’s warmth and tolerance while keeping business in good order.

“The authority will definitely support and welcome legal small businesses that do not affect nearby residents,” said Shi Lei, deputy general manager of the Hengfu economic development company which is in charge of investment of the historical zone.

Quality street stores can bring more vitality to the area, and employees will be able to stroll around and taste traditional and exotic food, said Shi.

“Once their employees fall in love with the historical streets, the companies are unlikely to move elsewhere,” Shi added.

Special Reports
Top