Shangri-La moves location

Shangri-La moves from one spot in the strip mall across from Cherry Hill Shop Rite to another spot in the same strip mall.

Courtesy of Shangri-La Chinese Restaurant

Shangri-La moves from one spot in the strip mall across from Cherry Hill Shop Rite to another spot in the same strip mall.

Jacob Sobel, Eastside Staff

The lights of the strip mall have almost totally died, extinguished in a wave as nightfall approaches. Darkness pools behind the neon sign outlining the restaurant’s name in bold lettering. Inside is a resolute wall of black.

Three meters to the left, the air jostles with activity. Workmen and contractors enter and leave in a jovial procession, passing underneath a large sign advertising the iteration of the darkened store to the right. This lot is abuzz; a television set displays sports highlights from a previous baseball game, while tables are tentatively placed around the store.

In just several days, the sign placed proudly above the restaurant will roar on, heralding the next incarnation of Shangri-La.

Shangri-La has a storied history behind it. Chef Piao-Fu Liang immigrated to America in 1981, becoming a chef at various locations in Boston.  He established the current restaurant in 1991.

The move next door comes on the heels of Jilly B’s, which departed over the summer. That store sold varied items such as frozen yogurt, candy and clothing.

The small store was disbanded and the lights turned off. The sign was removed and the lot sat empty, expectant. Shangri-La rose to the occasion, with some additional quirks regarding the new spot.

Indeed, the current Shangri-La is quite gigantic in comparison. It is host to a dining room and a reception area. In the back is the rather large kitchen.

In contrast, the new location is quite smaller. There is a significantly lessened amount of tables and chairs, and the frontal area is removed entirely. The kitchen occupies the back, yet things appear the opposite of cramped.

In a few days, the lights will power on and those hungry, yet stymied by an absence of Chinese food, shall be treated adequately. The sign will come up and work will cease. A new chapter will begin.

The question still remains however, of who shall occupy the adjacent space next door.

Shangri-La reopens November 16, at 101 Springdale Road, only a couple meters away from its previous location.