The frenzy of activity continues around these parts, and with good reason. The weather has been (mostly) cooperative, with a few honest-to-goodness blue sky days thrown in for good measure. It is likely that Shunyi will keep up with all this activity for as long as we have autumn on our side.
Mrs. Shanen’s Bagels
The Shunyi institution has been the last to hold out on the strip of Tianbei Lu that otherwise has succumbed to demolition brigades. Mrs. Shanen’s continues to see a steady stream of customers enjoying their bagels and other baked goodies, generous sandwiches and healthy drinks. But recently, their now-familiar stylized black and white checkerboard pattern was spotted over by Roma Lake (Luoma Hu). This can only mean that Mrs Shanen’s will soon be reopening at this venue that is fast becoming a popular dining alternative to the busy Pinnacle Plaza and Europlaza areas.
Mrs. Shanen’s will be opening in a space further down the road from former neighbor Radiance. The facade is a lovely mix of its signature American diner-inspired tiles and Chinese red brick. We think it was a clever way to re-purpose an old commercial facade while infusing the American feel we have come to know from the café.
We look forward to when this new bright and roomy space opens. We hope they still have a kid’s play area at the new location. They are sure to continue offering their organic produce from The Green Cow Farm, as well as yummy treats like cookies, pies, fresh peanut butter. And of course, their bagels.
So Pinotage has moved out of its Lane Bridge location and close to the Beidong Flower Market at the border of Chaoyang and Shunyi. When we visited, the wine bar was open but the restaurant wasn’t actually set up yet. At lunch time, the wine bar had a pub feel, with a few patrons watching sport TV and drinking beer. Off to one side was a pool table.
The standee menu advertised wine tasting from 7pm every evening. The regular club price is RMB 230, but for the soft opening the special rate is RMB 160. Wine can also be had by the glass from RMB 20-35.
I would personally wait a few more weeks to consider trying it out. The smell of paint hung heavily on the interiors, and the fumes probably would have made a heady combination with alcohol. Perhaps by then the restaurant will be fully operational as well. Let’s see.
Duty-Free Shopping Outside The Airport?
We didn’t think this was possible. But according to a new shopping club based in Europlaza that is now recruiting members, it is. For a minimum investment of RMB 10,000, consumable against luxury items, Shop The World promises you a shopping experience unlike any other in Beijing.
There are supposed to be members-only sales and generous discounts on merchandise you would normally find at a duty-free store: perfume, make up, bags, watches and other accessories. At the time we interviewed (and were interviewed about what membership package would interest us) the goods were not yet actually available. It’s a little difficult to imagine how they intend to draw in membership without an actual store to walk into. But obviously there is a lot about the moneyed Chinese’s shopping culture that I don’t understand, least of all who or why they would part with RMB 500,000 for the gold card in this elite shopping club. This is when one particular non-committal Mandarin phrase comes in handy to help you walk away: “Xiang yi xiang.” I’ll need to think about it.
On to even more luxurious purchases… the former Oasis restaurant building on Yuyang Lu has now nearly completed its transformation into a BMW Showroom. Too bad that the airy space was not converted into something that we can actually benefit from on a weekly or monthly basis. With the right investor, it could have been turned into a family-friendly restaurant with generous grounds for children to play in. As most foreigners have not entered the license plate lottery, or are even allowed by their company to be driving around here, this is one new business that we are clearly not the target market for.
One good thing that has already come out of the investment into this luxury brand in our corner of Shunyi is that the turnoff from Gaobai Lu (Dead Ayi Road) into the Oasis/BMW road has finally been fixed. No more dodging a pothole that just got bigger and bigger over the years with neglect. There is now actually a traffic triangle that separates incoming and outgoing traffic. And the road has been paved. Of course, to make a passable and safe path for those expensive babies that will soon be delivered.
Behind the showroom, a small space seems to be shaping up into a restaurant or café. We’ll soon know what that will be.
Roots and Shoots International School Summit
On Wed Sep 25 from 2-4.30pm, Roots and Shoots will host the R & S International School Summit at BSB Shunyi. Roots & Shoots is an international hands-on environmental and humanitarian education program that is about making positive change happen, for the environment, for animals and for our communities. Started in 1991 as a local effort by Dr. Jane Goodall with a group of Tanzanian students, R & S is now a growing global program based on the principle that everyone has the ability to bring about change.
International School Summit is open to all international school Middle and High School R & S group leaders and all teachers regardless of class level. The objective of the summit is to give a venue for like-minded student leaders and teachers to come together, create an R & S community in Beijing and plan future events. R & S welcomes everyone who is interested in starting an R & S chapter in their school. For more info and to RSVP, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by Dana Cosio-Mercado
Dana is the beijingkids Shunyi Correspondent. Originally from the Philippines, she moved to Beijing in 2011 (via Europe) with her husband, two sons and Rusty the dog. She enjoys writing, photography, theater, visual arts, and trying new food. In her free time, she can be found exploring the city and driving along the mountain roads of Huairou, Miyun and Pinggu.