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Re-Up, Beijing

A cafe and event space aiming to be a 360-degree upcycling experience

by Alessandro De Toni in Food + Drink on 16 April 2014

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In a country where fast development is often synonymous with waste and where the cityscape often looks like a never-ending construction site, Chinese consumers are constantly searching for the "brand new," often without the proper awareness of such a quick product lifecycle. Nowadays the drive for success is more often accompanied by an increasing awareness of environmental issues, wastefulness and the wrongdoing that often come with large-scale production.

Spoonful of Sugar (aka SOS)—created by design mastermind Lin Lin Jacobs—proposes creative strategies to cope with China’s overconsumption with alternative ways to use of overlooked and misplaced resources. The SOS goal is to “deliver an upcycled and effortlessly conscious consumer experience." Enter, Re-Up: a project that reflects the constant growth of SOS and a space which opened its doors a month ago.

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Located at #59 Tie Shu Xie Jie Tie in the heart of Beijing, Re-Up is a unique artisanal-style cafe and event space that is focused on sustainability, artistic creativity and community-building in the old city neighborhood of Dashilar. Housed in a formerly run-down art-deco building, Re-Up was restored and reinvented by the SOS product design team and engineering firm Buro Happold and Creative Collaboration Ltd.

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Re-Up has been decorated with stylish simplicity: high-ceilings, hardwood and natural materials, recalling local style and history. An old front door against the wall becomes artwork and there are pieces by emerging artists covering the walls—which are also available for purchase.

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In the kitchen, classic meals are created, but with a modern twist. Every dish is developed with innovative combinations of flavors in mind. From a great variety of coffees and homemade sodas (like Pu-erh tea and sichuan peppercorn flavored varieties) to sandwiches created with homemade bread and kumquat cookies, there's something to please everybody's tastebuds—and perhaps a few surprises too. Every snack is made in-house, cutting down waste and valuing resources to the fullest.

Soon Re-Up will open its urban gardening rooftop, with a vegetable garden that will enrich the tasty organic menu.

Photos by Alessandro De Toni

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