A Michelin star is a huge honor and prize for any restaurant, but sometimes the additional attention shines a light on something the operators would rather keep quiet, like the fact that the restaurant is operating without a license.
According to Shanghaiist, the six-month-old Taian Table restaurant was honored with a Michelin star when Shanghai’s first Michelin Guide came out on Wednesday of this week. That was a big coup, but the news made officials at the Market Supervision and Management Bureau say, “Wait a minute, there’s not supposed to be a restaurant there!”
Taian Table was opened in April by chef Stefan Stiller and his business partner, Frank Ji. Shanghaiist says that the owners reportedly applied for the proper business and catering licenses, but those were allegedly denied because the restaurant was in a residential building. Without the licenses, the restaurant just kept operating. Apparently they did a pretty good job of it, too, and were honored with one of the city’s first Michelin stars.
On Thursday, the restaurant was shut down for operating without a license. The owners announced on the restaurant’s Facebook page that the restaurant was initially started as a small, private place to entertain friends, and it was never their intention to violate any laws. They say the restaurant will move to a new location and reopen with the proper licenses.