Belated posting this time. When I paid a visit to Wudaoying in Beijing (see my earlier posting below), I was having a quick rest (meaning that I had a bottle of cold beer…) at this cafe somewhere half way into Wudaoying hutong. It was a three-storey building, and from the owner, I was told that he had to tear the previous building down and reconstruct. The cafe was open first in December 2009, so I suppose it is one of the new breeds in this so-called ‘next Nanluoguxiang’.
The owner rented this place from a local resident on a five-year rental deal. I am not sure if he’d require to return this building to its original shape upon the expiry of his lease period. I suppose that’s not something to worry about at this stage… It was a cosy, small cafe, rather quiet during the day-time. There is a roof-top terrace, which has a fairly good view of the neighbourhood. Roof-top terrace seems to have become a popular addition to cafes and restaurants operating in hutong areas nowadays. Quite an interesting development, given that roof-top terrace structures were ordered to be removed in Nanluoguxiang back in 2008, for they were regarded as illegal structures.
The cafe had an interesting menu book, recycled from the Chinese version of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” (or My Struggle). Perhaps the idea of using a book in this way is not so new, but the selection of Mein Kampf in mainland China to be recycled in this way was rather amusing. I haven’t had a chance to ask the owner why he selected this. Perhaps I should next time when I’m there. I wonder if Mao Zedong’s little red book or Das KapItal would get to be used in this way sometime in the future. I suppose the latter has a higher possibility than the former, given the direction of China’s development at present.