The good, the bad and the ugly. The weird and the wacky. As is the That’s tradition, we’ve compiled our 2019 China Year in Review series. So sit back, relax and relive the highs and lows of the last 12 months.
Below, nine F&B closures, in no particular order, that rattled our hearts and stomachs in 2019.
Janes + Hooch
Listed on Asia’s 50 Best Bars multiple times, Warren Pang and Milan Sekulic’s Janes + Hooch was an institution in Sanlitun, known for mixing up Asian-inspired beverages that play with local ingredients.
This glass cube looking over Sanlitun Village provided a cozy atmosphere for browsing bibliophiles, growing into an iconic part of the community since its start. The bookshop, library, film house, bar, bistro-cafe and event space always had a cultured evening in store for both adults and kids.
Little Creatures (and, well, most of The Crib)
Australian brewery Little Creatures opened its first Beijing location early last year. The excellent brews and atmosphere made it a welcome stop for a pint before a visit to Jing-A or Great Leap nearby. The beer joint was set inside The Crib, a trendy food hall that once housed plenty of exciting bites under one roof, but has since closed. And it wasn’t the only one to go: Several other establishments shut down quietly along with it, such as Mr. Chips, 24/7 by Secoo and Nooxo.
Image via Valerie Osipov/That’s
Even after moving, Botany stayed true to form with their unconventional menu, which featured all the same eccentric signature cocktails and creative infusions, like the Such a Good Thyme, the Black Truffle Martini and the Little Rabbit. (They didn’t hold back on the liquor, either.)
Gertz Danish Bakery
Founders Frank Nielsen and Uffe Gertz have been making bread for 30 years in their native country Denmark. The Beijing branch was the pair’s first in China, and we’re hoping it’s not the last.
Few places blurred the lines between restaurant and party spot as well as Palms LA. The decor was as sleek and refreshing as any stylish bistro, and the Korean-Mexican fusion food we loved from the original hutong location was just as on point at their second. Palms LA lives on in the form of Taco Stop at The Other Place.
Image via Andrew Braun for That’s
The Australian fast-food chain premiered in the capital following their grand China debut in Chongqing in early 2018. Royal Stacks had the kind of familiar vibe that invited you in and made you want to stay for a couple cola refills, while the menu hit all the essentials, plus a number of loaded extras that fulfilled our greasiest dreams.
Helmed by the same owner of ex-hutong eatery White Tiger Village, Cravings might not have had the charm of its predecessor’s, but made up for it with a fresh and fun environment for all ages. Both family-friendly and hip, the casual spot offered dishes from comfort food to seriously impressive artisan fare. You can still get a taste of Cravings at its new Yunnan concept dubbed Cravings to Longfu.
Capital Spirits introduced four major styles of baijiu through its intro flight tasting menu, and a variety of baijiu cocktails. The bar was born not only through a respect for baijiu culture, but also because the owners wanted to create an authentic, expat-accessible Chinese drinking experience. After bricking issues and relocations, you can still find your baijiu fix at Capital Spirits’ new home – kinda.
For more 2019 Year in Review coverage, click here.