Despite housing more than 7,000 coffee shops (the most in one city in the entire world!), Shanghai – and specifically the Xinle/Donghu Lu intersection – saw the soft opening last month of another coffee-centric venue, Crave Café & Wine Bar, by chef Holly Lian (CouCou). Crave currently offers coffee, wine, pastries and simple lunch fare but will expand into dinner at the end of the month.
After partnering up with Olivia Xu, Holly’s old classmate from French pastry school, and sommelier Yannick de Brouwer (previously of RAC), the three decided to join forces and put their specialties together in one space, with an added emphasis on music. The back of the roughly 20-person venue houses a full DJ booth along with six surround-sound speakers and a high-tech sound system you would expect to find in a club rather than a café.
The goal is to kickstart more music events along with extended nighttime hours and rotating DJs to “break the musical routine,” says de Brouwer, a side-hustle DJ. “This is not for clubbing, or even really for dancing; the focus is all about good wine, good food and good music. Simple as that.”
May 19, 2021