Bristol Evening Post 21-Aug-07
The Eastgate Oriental City complex, Wai Yee Hong and Water Sky are mentioned in an Evening Post article about the growing Chinese community in Bristol. The piece includes an interview with Allan Tan, who discusses the visibility of Far Eastern people living and working in the south west and how he hopes that Eastgate Oriental City will be able to cater to their needs.
WELCOME THE DRAGON
10:40 – 21 August 2007
A new 400-seater Chinese restaurant and supermarket has opened in Eastville, marking the rise of Bristol’s Chinese population. But it is not just in takeaway food that the community is making its mark on the city. MARC RATH reports.
China is fast becoming one of the world’s economic superpowers. By 2020 the country is likely to be the workshop of the world, accounting for a quarter of all manufacturing industry.
In Bristol the Chinese community is growing rapidly and its influence is becoming more and more widely noticed.
Members of the city’s Chinese population are beginning to make their presence known in business, catering and politics.
The most recent Chinese addition to Bristol is the striking Eastgate Oriental City.
Comprising a giant 400-seater restaurant, warehouse-style supermarket and a cash and carry, the £8 million complex will act as a business hub for the Chinese and Far Eastern population in Bristol.
And, launched by co-owners Allan Tan and Raymond Chow, the centre aims to reach beyond the realms of catering.
The pair are also planning to add a hair salon, offices for businesses and a Chinese tailor.
Based on a two-acre site off Eastgate Road, behind the old Eastville Stadium, the 6,000 sq ft Water Sky restaurant at the complex opened amid traditional Chinese festivities earlier this month.
Mr Tan and Mr Chow have relocated after running a successful cash and carry for 20 years in Station Road, Montpelier.
The new building, which features a impressive glass dome with a lift and a terrace for the restaurant, is already beginning to draw customers from across the region and further afield.
Mr Tan, 54, who lives in Stoke Bishop, says the Chinese population in Bristol has grown from 2,000 or 3,000 a decade ago to at least 6,000.
The Chinese community is most visible during its New Year celebrations every February, when thousands of people celebrate with traditional lion dances and tuck into special buffet dinners.
Mr Tan says Chinese people are attracted to Bristol by high-technology businesses such as BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce.
He also believes both of the universities in the city also act as a big draw for Chinese students.
Mr Tan said: “It’s not only in Bristol itself, a lot of Chinese people are settling on the outskirts of the city in places like Bradley Stoke.
“The number of takeaways have increased, so have the number of Chinese restaurants.
“We only used to have a couple and now we have five or six.”
Mr Tan said he hoped his business would cater for the growing population and said feedback so far had been very positive.
Customers from as far afield as Exeter and Portsmouth have already visited the supermarket.
Mr Tan said: “Everybody is pleased with what we are doing at the moment.
“We are planning to add a hairdresser’s salon, room for arts and crafts, and a bakery.
“We are trying to attract estate agents, solicitors and bankers so people can come here and get everything they need. Even the English community wants to see the whole thing take off.”
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