Luxury Italian fashion brand Gucci is branching out and entering the world of haute cuisine by opening its first restaurant—1921 Gucci Cafe—in Shanghai.
The restaurant, which opened about three months ago, sits pretty (large, that is) at 1,180 square feet on the fourth floor of the IAPM luxury shopping center in Huaihai Lu. The eatery took two years to complete and can be accessed by an elevator out of the Gucci boutique.
Unsurprisingly, all aspects of the restaurant are 1921 Gucci branded, from the plates and cutlery to the heavy, leather-bound menus. The restaurant’s interiors convey the brand’s opulent and elegant sentiment, done up in varying shades of gold with velvet touches.
The fare, as might be expected, remains true to the company’s Italian roots; patrons can expect to find items such as bruschetta with marinated tomatoes, garlic and basil; pasta with spaghetti, mussels, urchins and calamari; and red snapper with broccoli in a sun-dried tomato sauce on the menu.
Although 1921 Gucci Café (which was named after the year of the label’s inception) is the brand’s first full-service restaurant, there is also a Gucci-themed cafe in Florence adjacent to the Gucci museum, which first opened its doors in 2011 to celebrate the brand’s 90th anniversary. Gucci isn’t the only fashion house to delve in the culinary world. Ralph Lauren owns RL in Chicago and The Polo Bar as well as Ralph’s Coffee in New York City, while Roberto Cavalli operates the restaurant/club Cavalli Miami. Versace owns four restaurants, all housed within Queensland’s Palazzo Versace, the first-ever fashion-branded hotel. Giorgio Armani owns a plethora of eateries, including New York City’s Armani Ristorante, Emporio Armani Cafes and the new Armani/Caffe, which made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival last year; there are additional locations in Istanbul, Tokyo, Abu Dhabi, Cannes, Paris, Kuwait City, Santiago, Dubai and Milan. Chanel and French chef Alain Ducasse are the owners of Beige, the restaurant located on the top floor of the Chanel Ginza Building in Tokyo, while Bulgari owns Rivea, the stylish sea-themed eatery inside its tony Bulgari Hotel in London.