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!
The friendliest bar in the foreigner area that I know of. Ignore what someone says later about the food, in MY experience, the food is very good, in terms of taste AND value for money, e.g you order a chicken burger and not only do you get that but it also comes with bacon and chips... (and at the cheapest price for a chicken burger I have seen yet here.) they also have steak on the menu !
The drinks are fairly priced, happy hour is great (5-7pm,) the people who work there are fantastic and Aihua is the friendliest, most welcoming bar owner I know.
On top of that, a great selection of literature which you can freely borrow.. then comfortable surroundings, free wifi, genuinely should be higher in peoples estimations that 1/5 stars...
the music is a bit eclectic sometimes though..
I think of Chapter One mainly as a bar, so I do a lot more drinking than eating there.
On that front, it's a great place—open late with a good selection of brews. Aihua, the owner, is frequently around and is always friendly and has been great about donating beers for the pub quiz.
He is also doing charity work with some of the bar's proceeds, which not many other bars or restaurants seem to care much about.
I tried a burger here and it was the worst thing I've ever eaten. It was like eating tough, unground steak meat with a hard line of fat running through the middle. My knife couldn't even cut through it after my teeth gave up. Stay clear of this place, especially the food!
Its a bar,thats all i need to say.Don t order any type of food here because its pricy and you definitly wont get your moneys worth.
Just go to some other place and bring your food.If you order something be sure that it will be cold and wont be tasty.
I know this place for since 2005 and think its a pity that there nearly havent been any changes since - despite even new owner earlier this year. Went there recently a few times and the fuyuan still drive me mad. Being the only customer on first floor, seeing at least 3 fuyuan behind and infront of the counter and each time a pain to order something or make them coming to the table (why going to the table if the customer could just get up and get his own things?). Reminded me entirely of the service in French cafe (where for that reason havent been in ages). A pity, because the location is not bad and there could be much more done with little effort - so hope that happens when from next year on those wenlin street places are not able anymore to serve food and only rely on beverage (and service).