Text by Yin Rong
Photographs by Ma Gengping
Tea set at Hai Bar. Mr. Lin, proprietor of Hai Bar, came to Beijing from Fujian, a province well-known for its tea leaves and tea ceremony.
Surrounded by a crisscrossing network of hutongs (narrow lanes), Shichahai Lake is the place to relax for many Beijingers. Tucked away from the hectic rush of the city, Shichahai offers both quiet spots and lively dining and entertainment options.
The scenic lake setting brought prosperity to many of the bars and cafés along its banks, and among those, by the bustling Yandaixiejie (Tobacco Pipe Oblique Lane), Hai Bar offers an added measure of tranquility and charm. No booming base tunes and hyperactive gyration here.
Before entering that first time, visitors can pause to peruse the etching on Hai Bar's front door, recounting the history of Yandaixiejie. Within the three-story Hai Bar building, decorated with freehand traditional Chinese landscape paintings, the first floor comprises an intimate pub with wooden chairs and tables. Here is a simple, modest, yet elegant setting, far apart from the overblown decor of other more glitzy Shichahai establishments.