The Manabe coffee shop on the 3rd floor of the Brilliance Shimao
International Plaza has been closed down.
After receiving complaints by foreigners that "beverage agents"
of the coffee bar lured them there to have coffee and then charged
outrageous sums of money, the Manabe headquarters ordered the
branch to cease business, according to the police in Huangpu
"The owners of the shop are now under investigation by police,
and the money which was illegally obtained has been returned to
victims after the management office of the Nanjing Road Pedestrian
Mall received the complaints and took action," said an official of
the Huangpu Public Security Bureau surnamed Zhao.
According to an initial investigation, besides the usual Manabe
coffee menu, the Brilliance Shimao Manabe coffee bar had another
menu which they had made themselves to provide alcohol at high
However, Manabe headquarters said the coffee shops were not
licensed to serve alcohol and they would take measures to punish
the branch after further investigation.
According to a lawyer at Manabe headquarters in China surnamed
Huang, the affair not only harmed the Manabe brand, but also
seriously damaged the image of Shanghai, and they were treating the
case extremely seriously.
A Swedish businessman had told how he concluded his Shanghai
trip feeling very "disappointed" after he accepted the invitation
of two young women to join them at the coffee bar and was
eventually presented with a bill for nearly 5,000 yuan (US$676) for
According to him, the women ordered whisky without his knowledge
which cost 400 yuan each and they quickly downed 12 in 10 minutes.
Because he did not know how to contact the police he had to pay the
"If the victims report to us in the same day soon after they
encounter a similar case, we will immediately conduct
investigations and take efforts to catch the illegal agents," said
a leader of the Pedestrian Mall management team surnamed Ye.
"Our advice is simple: don't go, and call 110 to report the
matter to police," he said.
(Shanghai Daily December 12, 2007)