Riviera Plaza is the building across from WAB, which houses Annie’s and Jenny Lou. There have been some significant changes over the past few months, with new openings and a bit of a refurbishment program. The initial reason for my recent visit was to take a look at the newly refurbished Black Tiger Fight Club. I was then reminded just how much of an Aladdin’s cave of stores Riviera Plaza is. So here’s an update on all of the new openings, and a reminder of what else Riviera Plaza has to offer.
After several months of construction and expansion, the new Equilibrium Mixed Martial Arts / Black Tiger Fight Club, has officially re-opened. Under new management, the studio gym features an MMA training area (see photo above), boxing area, and functional training area. Users of their old studio will be pleased to hear the new facilities also include new showers and lockers. Equilibrium MMA offers classes in muay thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, MMA, boxing, functional fitness, and yoga. The major expansion has enabled them to add lots of new programs and classes. Classes run daily, for adults, kids, and include ladies only sessions. The new studio is now based downstairs at Riviera Plaza. Just take the steps down, across from Avocado Tree.
Riviera Plaza seems to have become quite the hub for after school activities. The Conservatory of International Style and Cultural Arts (CISCA) dance academy has a studio here. CISCA provides children graded examination (CGE) and vocational graded examination (VGE) ballet classes, following the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus. The pre-primary program is for children aged 3-5 years, the primary program for aged 5-6, and Grade 1-3 for 6 years and over. The new Fantasy Musical Drama Club describes itself as a club where students can unleash their imagination, learn Chinese smartly, self-design costumes, props, and scenery. With an in-house mini theatre, within this large studio, students can perform, do plays, and incorporate classical music. Helen & Z Music offers music tuition, with individual rooms available for private lessons, including piano. So while your kids are perfecting their plié, and practicing their scales, you can spend some time doing a bit of shopping.
The second floor Toy Store has a great range of toys, especially for younger children. Lego, Crayola, Barbie, jigsaw puzzles, a few scooters, amongst other things. It’s especially good for last minute present buying, as they gift wrap for free. Kipanddan is a ladies clothing store, which stocks a range of skirts, dresses, and tops in colorful patterns and designs. At the moment there is 70% off some items. The Computer & IT store sells cables, printer cartridges, paper, memory USB sticks, and you can have your passport and ID photos done here. Wine Master stocks a small but good range of imported wines. At the moment, they are offering a free wine tasting from a selection of Australian wines.
Opened up next door, is a new store Beijing Da Di Zhi Li, selling scented candles, diffusers, and therapeutic grade oils. They have an extensive range and some great items that would make lovely gifts. If you’re looking for Chinese furniture, clothing, tea sets and ornaments, there are two stores selling such items. Mrs Ma’s Tailor and Fabric Shop and Shooting Star Leather Maintenance are popular amongst the expat community, for providing a quick turn-around and quality service. Kidsmile Party & Balloon Shop has all your party needs. They can organize bouncy castles, magicians, clowns, and plenty of balloons. They also stock a range of party plates, cups, hats, and goodie bags.
J & L Ski Wear is a new store, stocking a range of high quality children’s outdoor clothes and footwear. If you’re planning on skiing this winter, they have everything the kids will need. The fruit and vegetable shop has a very good range of fresh produce, and is the only place in Shunyi I’ve found decent celeriac, a good range of potatoes, and quality fruit. They also have a great range of fresh herbs, which are difficult to find in other stores. Zen Yue Health & Beauty has everything you need to manage your hair, your nails, and your feet. Downstairs you’ll find Let’s Travel, a Real Estate office, and the hardest shop to walk past John’s Pet Store. It has everything you need for your furry friends, and there are always cute puppies and cats looking for a good home.
When it comes to dining options, Riviera Plaza has a few for you to try. Comptoirs de France has an offer on, buy one takeaway coffee and get one free. They have revamped their menu, and I still think their macaroons are some of the best in Beijing. The Avocado Tree is a Mexican restaurant, serving up burritos, wraps, salads, and salsas. The newly opened Dickson Kitchen now serves breakfast from 7.30-11am where you can choose from Hong Kong noodles, sandwiches, and pastries. The main menu includes soup noodle dishes, claypot rice, a selection of BBQ dishes, and curries. Dickson Daily is about to open its doors. Their advertising board shows a picture of a burger, so it may be a café or take-away. Annie’s is a well-known across Beijing, serving up Italian-American fare in a family-friendly atmosphere.
Over the last year, the Riviera branch of Jenny Lou has been much improved. It has a good meat and fish counter, selling imported Australian beef, Norwegian salmon, and imported chicken. The deli counter has cooked chicken, lasagna, salads, sides, and desserts to take away. It’s not just about the food, drop off your laundry at Jenny Lou and it will be cleaned via Laundry de Provence, you can pick up DVDs, a bunch of flowers, and a pair of designer sunglasses. There is also a Kodak shop for all of your photo printing needs.
Opposite West Gate of Lane Bridge Villa, 5 Laiguangying Donglu, Chaoyang District
beijingkids Shunyi Correspondent Sally Wilson moved to Beijing in 2010 from the UK with her husband and son. Her daughter was born here in 2011 and both her kids keep her happily busy. In her spare time, Sally loves to stroll through Beijing’s hutongs and parks. She is a (most of the time) keen runner and loves reading: books, magazines, news, and celeb websites – anything really. Sally is also a bit of a foodie and loves trying out new restaurants.
Photos: Sally, courtesy of Black Tiger