Today news popped up that Shanghai Restaurant, located in the old Mecca space on Market Street, shuttered on January 15. To which we say: Shanghai was still open?! We had assumed it was a goner last year. Or maybe we forgot about it entirely? Perhaps it was a dream. Alas, no, it had been a real thing -- a real thing that was open and operating. And now it's closing. Because of course. Nothing, it seems, can survive in that space.
Pudong and Gingerfruit prefaced Shanghai. Both of them closed shortly after opening. Surely something can be done. Remember when the restaurants before triangular Home (now closed) lasted but a few months? Who knows. Maybe the owner should stick a large Edison bulb above the front door of the old Mecca space, serve "craft cocktails," and rake in the cash. That seems to be the only thing popular these days when it comes to restaurant-bar hybrids, at least in that area. Better yet, perhaps the unsuccessful incarnations needed crushed ice in the urinals? Mecca had crushed ice in the urinals. So much fun. Peeing on crushed ice spells success.
But in all seriousness, we're not sure there's anything wrong with the space necessarily, except that it will take a serious investment to overhaul it and make it cool again. The old owner, 83-year-old Francis Tsai, just tried throwing pennies at the problem, leaving half the Mecca dining room from five years ago still intact and dusty while remodeling gradually.
RIP, Shanghai. We hardly knew you.