This morning, police cordons complete with riot shields and some kind of prodding implements appeared along the length of Fangjia Hutong, which up until last night was known as one of the most popular nightlife enclaves in Beijing.
Yes, bar crawlers, what was promised has come to pass – Fangjia is being bricked up as we write this, and we're sluicing away our tears with the corner of a Ramo napkin.
The bricking up of the hutong started at the Andingmen end, and at the time of writing has reached beloved falafel and hummus joint Moxi Moxi. Other businesses that have already been hit include party hotspot Jiao and casual cocktail bar Fang. Although they were unmolested at the time of Time Out's recce, it seems tragically likely that Cellar Door, Hot Cat Club, the burger renegades at Was Park and an overwhelming majority of outfits along the street will fall to the unrelenting march of the construction teams currently wreaking havoc. In a preemptive move, Ramo has already barricaded its street-facing windows so they can keep slinging pizza and wine sorbets to those in the area. The management told Time Out they expect it to be business as usual for them – some good news, at least.
Beijing, we love you but you're bringing us down with all this brick business. Please, we're begging you, stop it before the whole of the city looks like a red clay incarnation of the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, okay?
NOTE: This blog was updated at 12.47pm on Tuesday 23 to reflect the correct status of Ramo.