Proprietor Lin of Hai Bar.
The sightseeing deck does its reputation justice. To the southwest, the silver lake ripples, shining in the summery heat, while willow branches sway in the breeze; to the northeast, the ancient and ornate Bell & Drum Towers bear witness to the city's long and dramatic history. The ancient and modern, the modest and luxurious, the solemn and elegant; all meld here in harmony.
"The Shichahai Lake area is not only a scenic spot, but it also attests to a profound historical and cultural legacy. Nearby are the former residences of Soong Ching Ling, He Shen, Guo Moruo and 18 generals," Lin explains. "So Hai Bar is a place of leisure, conceived to complement and conform to the cultural environment of the area."
Besides the environmental and aesthetic assets, Hai Bar's food is particularly notable. A graduate of the English Department of Beijing International Studies University, Lin came from Pingtan Island (the fifth largest island of China), Fujian Province. And at Hai Bar he presents his hometown food. He especially invited seafood chefs from Pingtan to come here to cook. Some of the bar's more elaborate dishes must be reserved in advance, and simple snacks of Fujian's Shaxian County are also on his menu. "Thought of as sort of ‘Fujian's McDonald's,' the small cafés offering Shaxian snacks are found in rural areas. This is the first time I have put the cuisine on a bar menu. Other bars provide Western food and the standard sort of dishes, so our unique menu is one of our advantages," Lin says. "And in August, tourists can enjoy our food while actually on the lake. I will be cooperating with Mr. Qu, the owner of Wild Duck Island in Shichahai Lake. He operates 180 large and small boats, and aboard these tourists can enjoy fine Fujian food. Other cooperative ventures between Hai Bar and hutong tour agencies are also going very well."