Ronghua Lou
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Dine at the Last Cantonese Opera Restaurant in Guangzhou
Ronghua Lou is the only restaurant in Guangzhou where you can still enjoy a Cantonese Opera performance with your meal. Opened in 1876, during the Qing Dynasty, it serves traditional Cantonese dim sum and other Cantonese cuisines. It's a local favorite for yum cha (think dim sum brunch), especially among older folks. It is an awesome venue for opera lovers to gather together and just enjoy the show. (Even if you don’t order anything, no one will kick you out! The atmosphere is super friendly.) One caveat: don't expect white-glove service here. A little down at the heel after 150 years in business, you'll be rewarded for making yourself at home. Expect to add hot water to your own tea pot. Another reason to come: Due to declining interest in traditional opera among younger Chinese folks, the restaurant has been facing financial pressure. Even though the restaurant hasn't been able to consistently meet payroll, employees have continued to promote the restaurant and have told media that they've continued to come to work to support the art form and the restaurant. Visitors can (and do) approach the opera stage and give a bit of money to the performers to show their support. Those artists will go to each table to express their personal thanks after their performance, too.
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