Old spaces made new again in Shanghai

Updated: 2008-01-16 09:48

Moving factories out of the downtown area is part of China's urban restructuring plan and it bodes well for China's city dwellers, allowing them cleaner air and quieter neighborhoods.

There is one more bonus: the machines and facilities may move away, but the factory buildings stay behind. While some factories are torn down to make room for big malls, others are kept and transformed into multi-purpose spaces called loft-style, similar to those in New York.

The function of these lofts can be divided into three main groups. Some of them are taken over by emerging artists and serve as a creative center. Some are turned into galleries or showcases displaying art works, matching the lofts' post-modern style. Others are reconstructed into a recreational area, integrating dining, gym and massage spaces. Loft 98 is a good example of this.

Located in Shanghai, Loft 98 is in a 1970s factory and just 10 minutes' walk from Jing’an Temple. It's become an indispensable component of 98 Creative Park in Jing’an District. Current Loft 98 includes the French tavern Cantine, sushi restaurant Shoka and gourmet store Delish. Included in the complex is a massage center and a gym.


The name of this eatery is perfect for this French tavern, which has a casual and cool atmosphere. The lighting is orange, the walls are snow white and the tables are sleek black. These three elements interact with each other creating an easy going elegant simplicity.

Cantine is not big, yet it offers classic French cuisine. Salad nicoise includes usual ingredients such as tomato, egg and potato, but also some outstanding seared tuna steak. Duck leg confit is also nice both savory and tender. So for those who want to dine on genuine French cuisine in a cozy environment, Cantine is the choice.

Location: 98 Yanping Lu, near Xinzha Lu
Tel: 021-51759818


Shoka combines nouveau and classic cuisines. On the classic side there is the hot and great chili tuna roll, super fresh salmon sashimi and maki rolls, and sea-sweet akagi clam.

On the nouveau side there is a wide selection of shochu, the Japanese version of Korean Soju,or ricewine. Shoka had a list of about 10 different labels. To complement the meal, there are also tempura, noodles, grilled meat and fish and some sexy sake cocktails. The restaurant is also reasonably priced.

Location: 98 Yanping Lu, near Xinzha Lu
Tel: 021-5175-9817

*Delish Shop

This place is the destination for gourmets. Delish offers top-notch red wine, Champagne, and in-house made foie gras. At lunch time, cold dishes are available such as pork, pate and some read-to-eat food like sandwiches and salads as well as some imported snacks, like cheese, creamy potatoes. Delish also has a bakery that offers baguettes, croissants and sinful chocolate cakes.

Location: 2/F, Bldg C, 98 Yanping Lu, near Beijing Xi Lu Tel: 021-5179-9819

Edited by: Alice Yang



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