The century-old Quanjude roast duck restaurant at Beijing's Qianmen area has formally been closed for a six-month renovation.
Jiang Junxian, president of Quanjude Group Holding Company, said that Quanjude Qianmen restaurant is 143 years old and the fire at the restaurant's furnace has never been extinguished since 1864 because they believed that the continuation of the fire is of great significance to the company.
The renovation of Quanjude is said to be part of the entire renovation of the Qianmen Avenue area, but the restaurant side says that it is also a good chance for them to upgrade their facilities and capacities. Jiang said it is urgent for them to improve the environment and reception capacity to better meet the demand during the 2008 Olympic Games. According to Jiang, the reconstruction of the restaurant will be completed before the National Day holiday this year and by the time the restaurant will have an additional 1000 meters of business area.
Quanjude Qianmen is the first Quanjude restaurant in Beijing. Currently Quanjude operates eight direct-run restaurants across Beijing and some other chartered franchise restaurants.