The original opening date for China Live, the ambitious Chinatown project that’s most easily explained as a restaurant and retail food hall, has long come and gone. But the team has steadily been working toward open, and is optimistic that it will arrive in January, just in time for the Chinese New Year.
Developments in recent months include the nailing down of exactly what those restaurant concepts will be in the 30,000-square-foot space. Akin to New York's Eataly, the massive restaurant and retail food hall from Mario Batali, there will be a Market Restaurant & Bar, Oolong Café, retail marketplace, several bars, and a fine dining-oriented restaurant called Eight Tables by George Chen (Chen is the founder of this project, along with his wife Cindy Wong-Chen).
On the ground floor will live the Market Restaurant & Bar, focused on seasonal Chinese dishes, the Marketplace, with curated retail items, and Oolong Café, which is focused on teas sourced from Asia. Eight Tables is on the second floor in an “intimate” space with a seasonal eight-course Chinese tasting menu. A craft cocktail bar and lounge, as well as a banquet and event space is also on the second floor.
There has also been the hiring of key team members, including a director of culinary operations, a chef de cuisine, and an executive director of operations. Taking over culinary operations is Joey Altman, who you may recognize from his television hosting work and as the executive chef/owner of Menlo Park’s Wild Hare. Chi-Feng Lin is the new chef de cuisine, as well as being the executive director of the Taiwan Chefs Association. And as for operations, Quinn McKenna will take over that role, and he brings experience from Lark Creek Restaurant Group, and is the director of the California Restaurant Association.
It’s a lot of moving parts that became bogged down in construction, sourcing, and permitting, but it seems finally set to actually arrive. Stay tuned for more, and in the meantime check out these renderings below.