World / Victory parade

Beijing's Sanlitun area faces weekend closure

By Cao Yin (China Daily) Updated: 2015-08-21 07:38

Bars, restaurants and cafes around Sanlitun, a popular downtown Beijing area with shopping malls and entertainment venues, will be required to shut down during the coming weekend.

Multiple business owners in the area, including in Sanlitun's Courtyard Four and Taikoo Li mall next to Gongti Beilu street, confirmed the temporary closure, saying it was required because of rehearsals for a Sept 3 parade marking the 70th anniversary of victory in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. Gongti Beilu will have traffic restrictions over the weekend.

Wang Binghui, who runs Nanjie Bar in Sanlitun, said nearly all bars around Gongti Beilu will be closed to ensure security of the rehearsal during the period.

"The Taikoo Li shopping zone, stores and bars in and around the area have been asked to abide by the requirements of traffic restrictions and temporary shutdown. I can understand such inconvenience caused by the rehearsal," Wang said.

The Beijing Public Security Bureau has not released information on the traffic restrictions and business closures, and no number was available on how many bars and restaurants will be affected.

The manager of The Rug, a restaurant in Courtyard Four, posted a notice on its gate, saying it would be "closed for the grand parade on Saturday and Sunday" and suggesting that visitors go instead to one of its two other branches.

"We were told by police and staff for the regional management on Tuesday. We have also told customers who called us to reserve a table not to come during this weekend," said Xia, who only gave his surname, adding that the notice has been posted via the restaurant's micro blog.

Li Cuiping, administrative manager of Qmex, a bar and grill next to The Rug, said the shutdown will last from 3 pm on Saturday to 2 pm on Sunday.

"We'll be back in business after the restriction, but I think the number of customers at that time may not be as many as before," said Li, who shared the notice via the restaurant's WeChat account.

Minh Bui, an Australian woman who has been in the capital for more than a year, said she will detour around the road restrictions or find another place to visit.

A French woman studying Chinese in Beijing said: "Just a weekend, I think, is OK."

The Beijing authorties announced previously that Tian'anmen Square and the Wangfujing area also will be closed to the public for the parade rehearsal.

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