Shanghai Restored: Sushi restaurant reopens with classy new atmosphere

Amanda Foxcroft, photos by Andrea Paulseth

SAY HI TO SHANGHAI. Recently reopened, Shanghai Bistro (2930 Craig Road, Eau Claire) had been closed since August 2016. When the Asian eatery originally opened its doors, it was the area’s first sushi restaurant.
SAY HI TO SHANGHAI. Recently reopened, Shanghai Bistro (2930 Craig Road, Eau Claire) had been closed since August 2016. When the Asian eatery originally opened its doors, it was the area’s first sushi restaurant.

When the original, beloved Shanghai Bistro restaurant closed in August 2016 it left a Peking duck-shaped hole in our lives. We all wondered what would happen to the empty building, hoping that maybe it would rise again. Well, the wait is over!

Shanghai Bistro (2930 Craig Road, Eau Claire) officially re-opened its doors on April 10 after extensive interior renovations. Henry Chan, the previous and current owner of the restaurant, has made few tweaks to the menu and added a brand-new cocktail menu. The atmosphere throughout is elegant, but not pretentious.

The sushi area has a fresh new look, and the bar has been transformed into a lounge with sofas, coffee tables, and a candle wall (you’ll have to stop in to see it – words don’t do it justice). You can relax and enjoy one of their new signature cocktails, such as the Shanghai Smash or a Bloody Mary with a skewered octopus. Or grab a Suntory Old Fashioned for a taste of the Midwest blended with aged Japanese whiskey.

The menu at Shanghai Bistro is similar to what it was in the past, but with some exciting new additions such as Poke (pronounced poh-kay; Japanese for diced salmon), Vietnamese Pho (soup made with traditional oxtail), and Seared Ahi Tuna.

The renovations include a new private dining area that can seat up to 25 people. It’s known as the Warrior Room because of the beautiful terracotta warrior statues that line the walls, replicas of the famed Terracotta Army from the third century BCE. Another new element is the patio for al fresco dining. It’ll open as soon as winter releases her icy grip on the Valley.

In everything they do, from supplies to ingredients, Shanghai Bistro strives to keep things local and unique. They have Pitchfork beer from Hudson on tap, alongside Sapporo, Kirin, and others. You can still get an ice-cold bottle of Buddha Beer as well. With an extensive selection of beer, mixed drinks, and fancy cocktails, there is something for everyone.

Shanghai is always looking for ways to give back to the community. “When we had elements of the interior we could no longer use after the renovations, we donated them where they could be given a second life and appreciated again,” general manager John Tran said.

And instead of charging patrons for their meals during Shanghai Bistro’s soft open in early April, Henry and John asked customers to donate to one of three local charities in any amount they felt the food and service were worth. By doing so, they raised money for the Eau Claire County Humane Association, the Community Table, and the Eau Claire Children’s Theatre. They’ll continue to support various charities and groups throughout the Chippewa Valley.

Shanghai Bistro • 2930 Craig Road, Eau Claire • Mon.-Thurs. 11am-9pm; Fri. 11am-10pm; Sat. 4-10pm • reservations encouraged • (715) 835-3348 • Find it on Facebook

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