Monday, 28 January 2008
Beijing: 1949 - The Hidden City
1949 - The Hidden City will be a new hot spot in Sanlitun opening in late March 2008.
It is a "multi-restaurant and bar siheyuan, resurrected from China's modern history, located in the heart of Sanlitun. With over 40 mature trees, the 1949 - Hidden City is 6,000 square meters of neo-chic walled privacy nestled in Beijing's party district. Featuring indoor and outdoor restaurants, cafés, bars, gardens, terraces, event spaces, a private members' club, and a contemporary art gallery, 1949 - The Hidden City takes the concept of the commune to a new level of get-down harmony."
This was quoted from the press release.
And I saw it, the work is in process, the interior not ready, but from what I saw, it will be a hit. It will be better, nicer, cosier and hopefully more authentic than the Shanghai Xintiandi area. 1949 (or nineteenfortynine) is located behind the Pacific Century Place in Gongti Beilu. It is on the areal of a former factory and recovers one red brick building from it. The new buildings around are build from the same material, red bricks, using additionally lots of glass and wood. The buildings are lay outed and connected like in a traditional siheyuan, a courtyard house.
What is the meaning of '1949'?
It was in 1949, when the Communist army, the People’s Liberation Army, formally entered Beiping in January and, and gave the new capital the name "Beijing". On October 1st 1949, Mao announced the formation of the People’s Republic of China.
At 1949 on offer soon: (see my comments in italic)
Join Gallery49 in an open, forum of discussion with artists who are currently under the spotlight in the contemporary Chinese art milieu. Debut exhibition starts early April. (The gallery space it self is very limited but the art can/will be on display all over 1949. A sculpture garden is planned.)
Café of choice for all in the area who know and love good coffee, and all things sweet. (This sounds very promising!! And it is located in a glass house - although Comptoire de France will not be easy to beat, maybe design wise)
Duck De Chine
Beijing's most innovative duck restaurant. Authentic Peking Duck sits well with some of France's best loved renditions of the noble bird … all washed down by the best beverage accompaniment, Bolli Champagne!
(uuuh... what a combination?!)
1/5 taverna is Beijing's 'escape' restaurant and drinking spot. In a rustic-chic warehouse-inspired space, share comfort food, dance on the table, play a tambourine. Over to you! (Originally they planned a Mexican restaurant with live Mariachi music... although I love Mexican food, even that type of music - but please, only in Mexico! Not in a siheyuan in Beijing.)
Noodle Bar is Beijing's best kept secret for those looking for a traditional, integrity-filled, artisanal, hand-pulled wheat noodle experience.
(It seats only 12 people around a square light wooden bar, no reservations will be taken)
Ultra-lounge bar and loft. Featured DJ gets down with old-school sounds whilst bartenders put the perfect drink in the mix.
(This is in the building that is claimed to be part of the original factory. Will be a great bar over two floors)
We made use of an old fire-fighting water well and turned it into an outdoor beer bar. Shady trees, ice-cold 1949 beer.
(They even plan to brew their own beer... I guess, Tsingtao or Heineken will also on the list. The outdoor bar is the spot in the middle of everything).
A private members club devoted to cuisine, fine wine and art culture enthusiasts; Club49 is Beijing's only club that harmonizes good taste, good fortune, and the good life. (Targeted on rich Chinese, I guess.)
Who is behind this entertainment project? 1949 is conceived by Elite Concepts, one of the Asia’s leading hospitality groups. Founded in Hong Kong in 1991 by Paul Hsu, Elite Concepts manages a diverse portfolio of restaurants & bars in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Jakarta. Outlets in Hong Kong include yè shanghai in Pacific Place; cinecittà and 1/5 nuevo; Dirty Duck Diner at The Broadway, Wanchai and yè shanghai Kowloon at the Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel. Outlets in Shanghai include yé shanghai in Xintiandi, yé shanghai in Pudong, the naked cow on Dan Shui Lu and Deng G on the Bund, our new Sichuan restaurant.
Remark: I had the chance to visit the project earlier this months (and posted briefly about that). As the press release is out, I think I can also advertise with some pictures.