The Nanfang / Blog

Shekou’s transformation continues, new ferry terminal being built

Posted: 12/6/2013 7:00 am

If you haven’t been to Shekou and Seaworld Square lately, you’re in for a surprise. Much of the construction around the square has been completed, and a whole new complex has opened to the west of the big boat.

The complex resembles Sanlitun Village (for those familiar with Beijing), and will even come with Shenzhen’s very first Element Fresh. The Tavern, a popular bar from Guangzhou, is one of the first spots to have opened, and was already full on our last visit.

The Hilton Hotel Shekou has opened, and there’s a new 100-floor office tower in the area. That’s right, this isn’t your grandpa’s Shekou. To complete the overhaul, a new ferry terminal is in the works. It will open within three years, and be built right where the current one is. Shenzhen Daily talked to some passengers who lamented the crumbling facility:

Shekou’s ferry terminal is more than 30 years old. People have complained about the two-story terminal’s limited space, lack of an escalator, inconvenient links to transportation and insufficient food services.

An unidentified passenger who uses Shekou ferry services frequently said the terminal’s waiting hall is routinely filled to overflowing on weekends. Sometimes it’s hard to find a place to stand and people have to wait in the public square outside the terminal’s entrance, the passenger said.

The question now is this: if the new ferry terminal will be built where the current one is, what happens in the meantime? That hasn’t been answered yet, although some speculate an interim terminal might be used. If not, get set to navigate around construction for the next few years.

For all of the ferry terminal’s faults, it’s still a nice open, breezy, and quaint building that stands in stark contrast to the tourist-filled Shun Tak Centre in Hong Kong. It’s been part of many a warm welcome back to the Mainland.


McCawley’s coming to Dongguan, Helen’s to Shenzhen: PRD bars expand to new cities

Posted: 10/15/2012 1:00 pm

Helen’s will open two outlets in Shenzhen by the end of the year.

The bar scene in the Pearl River Delta is growing fast.  It seems to have hit a wave of expansion, with some bars moving into entirely new cities.

Guangzhou seems to be ground zero for all the action.  The Brew now has three locations, after the grand opening of their Yuexiu location on Friday night.  The Tavern has two locations, and the Paddy Field opened their second location earlier this year.

McCawley’s – just this year – opened a new location at the Peninsula in Shenzhen and expanded into Guangzhou in a joint-venture with Hong Kong’s Delaney’s.  McCawley’s isn’t done yet though, as sources tell The Nanfang the popular Shenzhen pub chain has already locked up a new location in Dongguan.

Dongguan, itself, now has a whole bunch of more bar options.  The Nanfang visited Murray’s on Saturday night, which is a classy Irish pub with a relaxed feel.  Helen’s, directly across the street, is the 18th outlet of the popular student-themed bar but the first in Guangdong.  It plans to open two new outlets in Shenzhen before the end of the year, bringing dirt cheap draft beer and pizzas to the city.  The Office makes up the triumvirate in an area which is becoming known as The Crossroads, as all three bars are steps away from each other.

The rapid expansion of laowai bars and restaurants in Guangdong raises a few eyebrows considering the economy is supposedly slowing and manufacturing – while still strong – is a few years past its heyday.

Your correspondent also spent many years living in Beijing, a city with its own iconic establishments.  What’s interesting to note is there seemed to be almost zero desire among these bars and restaurants to expand to second locations, nevermind expand to other cities.  The entrepreneurial fire burns hot in southern China, and maybe laowai are picking up on the shrewd business skills of the Cantonese.



The Paddy Field throws open its doors in Tianhe

Posted: 08/8/2012 3:25 pm

It’s been around longer than many expats in Guangzhou, and now one of the city’s first decent pubs is opening a second location.

The Paddy Field – that den of Irish beer and pub food – is now officially open in Tianhe, lining up alongside other local stalwarts like the Tavern, the Brew, and McCawley’s in Guangzhou’s increasingly heated pub wars.

Michelle from the Paddy Field told The Nanfang that everything customers have come to know and love about the first location will be replicated at the new venue.  ”The new place is exactly the same Irish hospitality and warmth offered at the mothership. The only difference is that we won’t be having our weekly Salsa nights because of space constraints,” she said.  ”But it will be still 99.99999% business as usual!”

The Paddy Field originally opened in 2004 on Huale Lu, just behind the Garden Hotel.  It moved up to the second floor earlier this year to expand — indeed, there is plenty of space inside the revamped bar.

Michelle notes the new location, on Tiyu Dong Lu, is family-friendly and offers plenty of non-smoking areas.  It has the same (rather extensive) pub grub menu and beers on tap as the original.

The Paddy field is just the latest bar to make a foray into the Tianhe / Zhujiang New Town area.  The Brew opened its second location there and Shenzhen bar staple McCawley’s opened in the area, both within the past year.  The Tavern is also nearby, and Rebel Rebel opened last month, meaning there’s plenty of choices for people who want to get their drink on.

You can get all the info about the new Paddy Field, including the address, map, opening hours, and menu here.


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