I had been searching for a decent Western-style bar ever since I first stepped foot in Humen over four years ago. From my experience, Kansas City in the Grand Noble always held the monopoly in this respect and to be fair, it provides a good go. In reality though, the gaudy Filipina singers can get a tad monotonous and you never really escape the fact you’re in a high-end hotel with high-end prices to match.
Of late, Humen has been developing its riverside area—particularly near the bridge crossing to Wei Yuan Island. While scooting past there recently, I spotted an unexpected sight: a traditional British pub!
The Beatles pub slots in strangely, but nicely, among the Chinese siblings surrounding it and initially has a good feeling. Once inside, virtually every direction you look displays some form of the infamous Liverpudlian quartet’s memorabilia: from the doormat, to the glasses and even the ashtrays. In addition to this, are the cliché photos of Big Ben, London underground and of course, her Majesty. Novelties aside, the place is not quite as traditionally British as some other well-known establishments in Dongguan. For starters, it is run and owned by Chinese and the English communication was limited. Still, menus did have translations, albeit with the ever-present Chinglish errors, naturally.
I also wasn’t overly convinced by the booze on hand. The usual suspects for bars in China were available on draft at the same old prices, but for me, if you want to tout yourself as an authentic British bar, you should at least have some cider or Guinness on tap. That aside, I quite liked the place.
There was pub grub on offer and I tried their Beatles mixed grill that was satisfactory and reasonably priced at 48 RMB. My colleague had the chicken noodle soup, which was disappointingly served with instant noodles.
As a fledgling venture, I would say the place still has some way to go. The one thing it really has going for it is its close proximity to Humen’s ferry port, which is a five minute walk on the same road. Coupled with the fact that there is no other place like it in Humen, it might be on the verge of success. Judging by the lack of people on the Friday evening that I was there, it’s obviously still in the teething stages, but with a bit more time and exposure, The Beatles surely has the capacity to blossom into a thriving and competitive venue.
Address: 1/F, Riverside, No.55, Jiefang Rd, Humen