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Legend of Time-Honored Liu Quan Ju


Liu Quan Ju (柳泉居) was established during the reign (1567 – 1572) of the Ming Dynasty's Long Qing Emperor. It was traditionally a famous Beijing Yellow Wine tavern. In the past, there were four kinds of yellow wine taverns. Apart from Beijing Yellow Wine, Shaoxing, Shandong and Shanxi vintages were popular in the capital city.

Merchants from Shandong Province funded and ran Liu Quan Ju Tavern in its earliest stage, for it was a spacious hall with a large garden in the backyard. According to some historical documents, there was an old and big willow tree in the courtyard, and freshwater was just by its side. The owner of the tavern used the water to brew the yellow wine, which was light and pure with wafted fragrance in the air. Customers called it the "vintage of the jade spring". In addition, the dishes for yellow wine that Liu Quan Ju made were very famous at that time.

In fact, there was no name for the tavern when it first opened in Beijing during the Ming Dynasty. Yan Song (严嵩) was a bad guy and a devoted janissary of the Ming Emperor Shi Zong, who once said, "there will be no knife or sword that can kill him". Shi Zong's successor, Mu Zong decided to get rid of this man. However, Mu Zong could not kill him because of the oath made by the predecessor. He sacked Yan Song, confiscated all his wealthy assets and only gave him a silver bowl, by which Yan could make a poor living by begging. No one would like to help him because people hated him very much. One day, Yan Song was extremely hungry and thirsty, he tried very hard to walk and he came to the yellow wine tavern. He smelled the aroma of wine and he could no longer go on. He asked the boss to give him something to eat and drink. The boss knew that he was a bad guy. Yan was excellent in Chinese calligraphy, so the boss told him, "I will allow you to drink, but first you have to think of a name for my tavern". Not for long, Yan wrote "Liu Quan Ju". He died of hunger later, but the name became the brand of this great tavern since then.

In 1949, Liu Quan Ju moved to Nandajie Street,Xinjiekou. Since then the restaurant started to serve dishes that mixed the essence of southern and northern China. The Crab Banquet that consists of many crab dishes is very popular. Crab meat is the main ingredient with a lot of choicest ingredients. The cold dish, "Crab in the Lotus Pond in Autumn" is made of Chinese mushroom and carved into a crab's shape, just like a crab in a lotus pool.


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