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03:53 Sep 30 2011

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National Stadium restaurant offers a view
13:42, August 06, 2010  

Two customers enjoy their dinner at an Olympic theme restaurant on the third floor of the Bird's Nest in Beijing on August 3, 2010. [Provided to China Daily]

Visitors to the Bird's Nest, the venue for the 2008 Olympic Games opening ceremony, will soon get a chance to enjoy fine dining and a panoramic view in the National Stadium.

Shi Lei, a staff member with the General Administrative Department of the National Stadium, said an Olympic theme restaurant on the third floor of the Bird's Nest is currently undergoing a trial phase, and is likely to go into formal operation in mid-August.

Shi told China Daily on Thursday that most fast food shops near the Bird's Nest closed down with the end of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and visitors have long been complaining that they have nowhere to eat.

The National Stadium has since been receiving an average of 130,000 to 150,000 visitors every day after the games.

Shi added that several restaurants have been planned in the exhibition hall on the third floor of Bird's Nest.

The first one will have a floor space of 6,000 square meters and serve 1,000 people at the same time, he said.

The menu names will reflect Olympic themes, and include dishes such as "Five-Ring Assortment", and "Football Field".

"All the dishes will be free of fertilizer and hormones, and you can enjoy unique views", said Zhu Jian, owner of the restaurant.

"We have put tens of millions of yuan into building the restaurant that goes with the Bird's Nest", Zhu said, "and if all goes well, we are expecting to recover costs in two to three years."

The restaurant is decorated in silver and white colors to combine elements such as the Olympics, the Bird's Nest and traditional Chinese cultural symbols. Its steel roof, meanwhile, features a vast number of circular chandeliers that match the red colors inside stadium.

Restaurant waiters said consumers in general would spend about 200 yuan ($29.52) per person for a fancy meal, and that they also would also provide a set-menu including vegetables, meat, rice, soup, fruit and pickles at 50 yuan.

Not everyone was so enthused at the offerings."Fifty yuan is much more expensive than KFC", said Lin Chuan, a 24 year-old Beijinger. "I would rather take some bread for lunch, which is both cheaper and will make me full."

Others, however, expressed interest in the value of good food in such a venue.

"The atmosphere in Bird's Nest will definitely give me a good time, so the price is okay if the dishes are just as good as other restaurants," said Cai Mao, 24, from Tianjin.

Bird's Nest administrator Shi added that the restaurant will primarily cater to tourists, and will be closed to other customers when the Bird's Nest hosts bigger events.

According to Shi, the yearly operating expenses of the stadium reached 70 million yuan. Besides the restaurant, the stadium staff was also busy introducing other programs including a sports club, a sports shop and an exhibition area.

Presently, the Bird's Nest is covering its expenses by traveling tickets, souvenir income, and hosting all kinds of games, performances and exhibitions.

Source: China Daily


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