British restaurateur Gail Caddy should have no problem finding her way around the Rock Point Inn in Shanghai this week, because that building and the restaurant next door are near-exact knockoffs of properties she owns back in the U.K.
According to Shanghaiist, it all started back in 2006 when some developers in Shanghai were looking to create a quaint British vibe for the “Thames Town” neighborhood they were working on. The 256-year-old Rock Point Inn and Cobb Gate Fish Bar in the adorable coastal tourist town of Lyme Regis in Dorset fit the bill so perfectly that the developers decided to just copy them outright, which came as something of a shock to their owner.
“My properties have been copied by the developers in this new town,” Caddy told Shanghaiist in 2006 when she first learned of the knockoff plans. “They have called them the same names, although Cobb is missing one ‘B.’ They have also copied the same structure and sited them with the Yangtze River behind.”
The ersatz Rock Point Inn does look almost identical to the original.
“Yes, it is very flattering but feel some sort of explanation could have been given, also permission to copy them …” said Caddy.
Imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery, but sometimes a person would like a nice big check to go along with those warm fuzzy feelings. Caddy probably isn’t holding her breath for a payout, as Shanghaiist reports that she’s yet to receive an explanation for exactly how her restaurants wound up duplicated in China, but she’s finally making the trip to Shanghai to see her restaurants’ unauthorized identical twins in person.
Caddy said she’d be visiting from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2. At least she won’t get homesick.