Dear friends, it's Aihua here!
Last year, when we were evicted from Chapter One by the property owner without reason, I lost more than a place to run a bar... I also lost some hope and happiness.
At that time, I decided against opening another bar, because I didn't want to meet another kind of landlord that I couldn't trust. I didn't want to be in another situation I had no control over.
Instead, I packed my bags, left the country, and travelled abroad. Travelling has been one of the most beautiful, happiest periods of my life. However I have also come to realise that while you can travel for a while, you can't make it your whole life. My feet have grown weary, and the very same fate that made me open Chapter One in the first place all those years ago has bought me back to Kunming, to once again open the bar that I love so much.
I feel that a small bar has to have a soul, but it is very hard to say exactly what that soul is. Like people, architecture or art, a bar has to have it's own thought, ideas and style. Of course, this is a business, and one in Wenlin Street, so we have to make a profit to survive. However, at the same time I realise that there are a large number of local and foreign students nearby. So, during the day, from opening time to 7pm I've picked your favourite beer, cocktails and coffees, and will provide them to you at almost half the price of the evening!
Also, between 11am - 2pm, and 5 pm - 7:30 pm everyday we'll be providing a buffet of great food including two different types of Chinese and Western meals each, plus vegetables, fruits and non-alcoholic drinks, for just 40 RMB per person. Please follow GoKumming or your friends WeChat to see our daily offerings. But our prices don't mean we've sacrificed on quality. The western foods on our menu includes tried-and-tested recipes collected from the many foreign friends of Chapter One over the years, including my favourite burritos. And of course, our Chinese food is authentic and delicious. Running a bar gives me so much joy, and I always try to put my entire heart into it. I hope that other people will be able to see the care and attention I put into the bar too.
I don't know whether or not my thoughts are too international, but I believe that at the end of the day it doesn't matter if you're a foreigner or if you're Chinese: at the end of the day, we're all people. Of course, visitors from abroad do need extra help and to be treated carefully because our cultures differ from each other. I realised that much when I went abroad to travel and became a foreigner myself, and received the help and assistance of the people I met
Thinking of this makes me recall a sentence my German friend and his Nepalese wife told me: they felt Chapter One was their second home. Likewise, I've many Chinese friends who say that after I closed Chapter One, they stopped coming to Wenlin Street.
You could say that a bar has to have a soul. It is my hope that Chapter One's soul will make everyone who visits feel at home.
So, I'm delighted to say that I've returned and Chapter One has returned too! Please tell all your friends, and I look forward to catching up with you in Chapter One very soon!
Excellent bar, very welcoming with highly efficient service from the Ai Hua and his friendly staff.
Good selection of beers and snacks with, in my opinion, a very very tasty and filling Shepherds Pie!!
have spent many an enjoyable evening in chapter one.
the beer selection is probably the best thing this bar has going for it... really good beer, including a range of imports.
also, the decor is well done and the place feels spacious, meaning it is good for going out and accomodating large groups of people.
definately a place for evenings!
Criminally horrible Italian pasta (floating on a sea of water!!).
Love this place!! Has a great atmosphere, and the owner Ai Hua is most welcoming!! Love the pubquiz as well, really good fun! My favourite bar in Kunming!
The paintings on the wall are really nice!