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March 15, 2019

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Restaurant revamp to whet diners’ appetites

A more-than-century-old city eatery will reopen at the end of the month after a renovation to restore its traditional ambiance, service and food.

Customers of the Qiao Jia Shan Restaurant will be able to dine on traditional local specialty liang mian huang (both sides yellow) fried noodles, hear Shanghai dialect, and view decorations dating back to the 1930s.

The traditional eatery on Xiangyang Road S., within the Hengshan-Fuxing Historical Conservation Zone, began operation in 1909 near the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Madam Soong Ching Ling (1893-1981), Peking Opera master Mei Lanfang (1894-1961), legendary poet Xu Zhimo (1897-1931) and Kunqu Opera artist Yu Zhenfei (1902-1993) were frequent customers.

However, despite its reputation among locals, especially the elderly, business slowed in recent years as a result of competition from many new stylish restaurants.

The parent company of Qiao Jia Shan decided on the renovation last year when it could only make ends meet, said Cao Fengying, general manager of the operation department of Shanghai Newroad Commercial Group.

The group has also hired some young entrepreneurs who have opened a score of successful restaurants in the city to operate Qiao Jia Shan.

The management team hopes that the renovated restaurant can attract younger customers, she added.

The group has made plans to revive the other time-honored brands it owns in the city.

The Shanghai Second Food Hall, dating back to 1920, will be renovated to better compete with online shopping.

The reopening of the Qiao Jia Shan Restaurant has been supported by the Xuhui government which wants to develop characteristic small street businesses within the historic conservation zone.

A panel discussion among district officials, street store owners and experts was held in Xuhui yesterday to discuss how to restore the popularity of local time-honored brands and street businesses.

Many legislators want to retain the city’s warmth and tolerance while keeping business in good order.

“The authority will definitely support and welcome legal small businesses that do not affect nearby residents,” said Shi Lei, deputy general manager of the Hengfu economic development company which is in charge of investment in the historical zone.

Quality street stores can bring more vitality to the area, and employees will be able to stroll around and taste traditional and exotic food, said Shi.


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