Balmain Gourmet and Andy’s German Bakery are the latest Shunyi businesses to have been closed by the authorities, in a building regulation clampdown reminiscent of the “Brickening” in the hutongs.
Previously, businesses have been wary of talking publicly about the problems, with the owners of Pinnacle Plaza bizarrely claiming that no businesses had closed, even as we were talking to United Family Healthcare about the temporary closure of their dental clinic (now back to normal operation.) However, Andy’s German Bakery told us what happened to them.
“The Fire Department showed up, telling us that the roof is not fireproof and that we have to move out in five days. The building will be demolished.”
We asked whether they planned to reopen elsewhere.
“We are looking for a new place, but this is hard,” Andy said. “Either too expensive, or no food license granted.”
We understand that the inspections have come as a result of a fire in Daxing, in which 19 people lost their lives. Of course, we all want to stay safe and to avoid such tragedies in future. But it is hard on tenants who rent property in good faith and work hard to build up a business, to learn that they can be closed down at very short notice because proper standards were not adhered to during construction.
Drew from Balmain Gourmet, having only learned about the problem yesterday, was unable to confirm what it means for the future of his business, but managed to respond with grim humor.
“Beijing Government – they are the boss,” he said.
We will continue to update you on this developing situation.