A restaurant in China, which had provocatively dressed male waiters, has been shut down by authorities. The eatery, known as the ‘Macho Restaurant’, operated in the popular tourist spot of Xishuangbanna Dai autonomous prefecture, in Yunnan province, according to a report in South China Morning Post (SCMP). However, its fate took a turn for the worse when videos of waiters’ racy performances started circulating online.
The waiters, tall and muscular, donned revealing tank tops or went shirtless, engaging in seductive dance routines aimed at entertaining the predominantly female clientele. Some of the routines involved suggestive dancing, pole dancing-like moves termed as “rod licking,” and intimate acts like feeding female customers mouth-to-mouth, wiping their mouths, and offering shoulder massages.
The restaurant adopted a Thai theme, calling itself “Thai Drum Thai Drum Thai Cuisine”, with a prominent sign proclaiming “Macho Restaurant upstairs”, as per the outlet.
“Business was not doing well, so to boost customer numbers, the restaurant hired well-built actors to perform. Initially, there were just six actors offering relatively normal dance performances. When customers filmed at the restaurant and shared the videos online, the restaurant owner saw it as a promotional opportunity,” a member of staff at the restaurant told Beijing Youth Daily.
While some users on Chinese social media platforms joked that the experience was akin to a male model restaurant in Thailand, others expressed support for the place, praising the waiters’ impressive physiques and passionate performances. The restaurant’s low average cost per person, positive reviews on Dianping (a popular Chinese review platform for catering services), and even the option to request WeChat contacts from the models created a buzz among its patrons.
However, the restaurant’s risque performances attracted the attention of local authorities, who considered them a breach of social ethics and a detriment to the area’s cultural traditions. On July 26, the authorities ordered the restaurant to cease operations, confiscated its “illegal” income (amounting to US$1,600), and imposed an additional fine 10 times that of the illegal earnings, the outlet said.
SCMP quoted a member of the Enforcement Bureau of Yunnan Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism as saying that such performances, influenced by foreign commercial shows, “may infiltrate the cultural market in the border area and undermine the inheritance of our national outstanding traditional culture”.
While some social media users supported the authorities’ decision to close the restaurant, others argued that it should have been allowed to restrict entry for minors, as they saw nothing wrong with adults enjoying such entertainment.
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