Waitresses in green army uniforms and red "Serve the People" armbands salute customers and greet them with "I swear to Chairman Mao that I will serve you with all my heart."
The young women, mostly about 20 years old, then usher the customers through the main entrance of the Mao-era restaurant, whose facade resembles a bunch of books, the "Collected Works of Mao Zedong", set in the middle of a red flag.
But the "Red Flag Fluttering" eatery, which opened in south Beijing's Daxing District last year, could be starting a revolution among locals, who are questioning the taste of its theme more than its food.
The interior is a throwback to the days of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), with huge portraits of Mao, posters lauding the late Chinese leader, statues of workers, peasants and soldiers -- the three groups Mao said were pillars of Chinese society.
Even the names of the dishes feature the Mao-era -- and one dish with fried pork and red chili is called "the whole country is red".
"I don't really know much about the Cultural Revolution. I was born 10 years after Mao died," said one waitress in a "Red Guard" uniform. "But our boss says we must learn Mao's quotations by heart and dance the 'loyalty dance'."
The "loyalty dance", a legacy of the Cultural Revolution, features a group of dancers in army uniforms and with the "Little Red Book" (Mao's quotations) in hand. The postures are rather rigid and simple: holding both hands high to show faith in Mao, making bow steps to indicate determination to follow him and clenching fists symbolizing their revolutionary fervor.
The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. every day, no matter how few diners are seated.