Rapscallions, Futian: A Place for Shenzheners, by Shenzheners
If the initial plan came to fruition, Rapscallions, or ‘Raps’ would never have happened, at least not in its current incarnation; no, as is typical with great ideas, it developed a life of its own, and from a small sandwich business, to sandwich shop, to full blown restaurant and bar, Raps has surely taken on an identity unique to the people behind it.
Aiya, the food genius (she’ll hate that I’ve said that, but it’s true) behind the business, with a passion for food and experience working in kitchens from Bali to Japan, started off with a small sandwich delivery business in Shenzhen. With demand exceeding her ability to supply all by herself, she decided to try and expand to meet the demand.
In their search for an appropriate location for their new venture and with several different locations scouted, Aiya and boyfriend Darragh, settled on what was once a small barbecue stand located behind Coco Park. Unfortunately, the local authorities informed them that the location was set to be demolished but recommended a (less than desirable) location directly behind that.
After some innovative renovations that resulted in the rooftop terrace (and perhaps the greatest nighttime panorama of the CBD in the area) and a much-improved location, with help and partnership of great friends, Alan, Yumi, Greg, and Ciaran, their two-year long endeavor to bring their own unique flavor to Shenzhen had finally come to fruition.
Although Raps now has a much larger space than originally intended, the focus of the business hasn’t changed. Offer great service, food, drinks and above-all-else, a relaxing environment where patrons can come in after a hard-day’s work and actually relax on the terrace with a beer.
In the end, they hope to be an icon of Shenzhen, much-like Macau has Fernando’s or Shekou has Gypsies, they hope to be the place that, whoever you are or how much you have to spend, you know that if you’re in Shenzhen, you’ll have a great experience at Raps.
They seem to be well on their way to achieving this goal with what seems like a bar and restaurant that is something to everyone, be they Greek, Italian, Filipino, Japanese or Chinese, everyone seems to be able to relate to the atmosphere that Rapscallions provides.
Most telling perhaps, is that if it were up to Aiya, I wouldn’t be writing this article, nor would any advertising be done; she feels that if she does her job and provides the service and atmosphere that Raps is indeed capable of, that people will come of their own volition, PR, advertising, or not. I tend to agree, but I don’t think that would be fair to all of those people that haven’t been to Rapscallions yet.