Happy New Year! As we ring in the Year of the Rabbit, many of us are enjoying the holiday festivities in Beijing. Although the expat population is lighter this week, there is still a lot going on.
- It’s business as usual for many stores and restaurants in the area, however, some have a few days off or shortened operating hours. Many locations don’t have signs posted about their holiday hours, but for those who do, please note:
1) Jenny’s, Pinnacle Plaza: Open Feb 2 from 7:30am-7pm, Feb 3 from 9:30am-7:30pm, and Feb 4 from 7:30am-8pm
2) Lohao: Open Feb 2 from 9am-5pm; closed Feb 3-5
3) BHG, Euro Plaza: Open Feb 2 from 9:30am-7pm (rest of the time, normal hours 9:30am-9:30pm every day)
4) Mrs. Shanen’s Bagels: Closed Jan 26-Feb 9; reopens Feb 10 at 8am (for bagels and information, call 6435 9561 or 136 0123 0321)
5) Iron Horse Saloon: Closed Jan 20 at 10pm-Feb 13
6) Kids +: Open Feb 2-3 from 10am-4pm and Feb 4-5 from 10am-5pm
7) Happyland Arts: Open all during CNY from 9am-5pm. However, prices have increased to RMB 80 per hour (up from RMB 50 per hour, a hefty 60% increase!).
8) Ice Zone: Public skating hours will be Jan 31 from 12 noon-7pm, Feb 1 from 12 noon-5pm, Feb 5-6 from 12 noon-7pm; closed Feb 2-4
9) Johnson’s Computers: Closed Feb 1-8
- Say it ain’t so! My husband and I love going to Za’atar Restaurant for lunch when he has a day off work, and we were so disappointed to see it was closed a couple of weeks ago. After much chatter about what this might mean, it was confirmed that Za’atar has closed its doors at their Lakeview Place location. There seem to be disputes between property management and various tenants in the area, so until these are worked out or Za’atar finds another location in Shunyi, we must wait for awhile to enjoy that scrumptious food. Here’s hoping that CNY brings them some good news after the holiday!
- LeSpa has recently expanded its services and space. They now have an additional floor, accessible via elevator, which showcases extra massage rooms and a nail salon area. It’s obviously a place bustling with activity, it’s open throughout CNY, and now it’s bigger!
- I have no idea how long this has been there, but I finally noticed the new sign above Jenny’s in Pinnacle Plaza. It now reads Jenny Wang. It got me to thinking about the confusion there is about Jenny’s versus Jenny Lou’s – the story of two sisters who had a falling out over their business. I’ve read posts online, links from various articles and have gone to the respective websites. Who is who?! See what I tried to find out in an upcoming blog
- It’s coming! Finally, after being vacant for five months, the River Garden clubhouse will house a new restaurant for residents and patrons outside of the villa. Welcome back to the neighborhood, Steak & Eggs! Currently, the space is being totally refurbished, and the tentative opening date is scheduled for April 1. Operating hours will be from 7am-10pm serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Renovations will include a glass-enclosed patio area and large screen TVs for sports broadcasts. Stay tuned for more details.
- Are you looking for a baby group to join with your little one? Come to the British School of Beijing’s Baby Group, every Wednesday afternoon from 2-2:30pm at the Shunyi Campus of BSB (not Feb 2). This free event gives you the chance to meet new moms and allow your children to play and make new friends. Refreshments will be served.
- Also coming up at the Shunyi Campus of BSB are some great free seminar opportunities open to all. Mark your calendar for the event, “Helping your children with homework: Parent workshop” on Thursday, Feb 17 at 2:30. And on Friday, March 11 from 8:45-10am, you’re invited to the BSB Open Morning for Parents. Take a look at the whole school, peek into the classrooms, and see what the BSB system is all about.
- Mercurius World Travel will host a grand opening celebration on Feb 10 in the River Garden clubhouse. While it has shorter opening hours at the moment due to CNY, this party will kick off its regular office hours and showcase what they can do to help you plan a perfect vacation.
- Americans (with young children) missing their Costco super stores might be tickled with this one. At the front of the BHG supermarket in Euro Plaza, I found a four-pound container of the Kirkland brand organic animal crackers available – for a hefty price of RMB 198, no less, but KIRKLAND! I’d love to know the actual price of those in the U.S. stores…
- Saw a new store –I don’t really know how new – in Pinnacle Plaza called Santart Gallery. It’s a fine arts supply store, with paints, canvases and much more. Worth a look!
- I received a text over the weekend, followed up by some posted messages – a monkey is loose in Yosemite! Seriously? I guess they are considered popular pets these days, but many residents rightfully worry about the diseases they carry and the threat they pose for people (children!) and domestic animals. Further follow up from a vet indicated that this is, indeed, serious and that residents need to know the Public Security Bureau should be notified by dialing “110” for immediate assistance. Please be careful!