Bars where Pete has had a Drink (3,211 bars; 1,479 bars in Seattle):
Bars where Pete has had a drink
Saturday, March 16, 2013
#1975 - China City, Freeland, WA - 11/18/2012
China City is located in a large Victorian building constructed in a small town that was established as a socialist commune in 1900-1901. Believing communism to be unworkable at a small scale, the founders established a store in the "Rochdale" model, where anyone of any race or creed could buy into the central cooperative store and obtain five acres of land with a small down payment, pay the remainder with their share of dividends, and eventually profit with a portion going back to the store. Stock in the store could only be sold to other members and no one member could exceed 20 shares. "More correctly, Freeland was a gathering of like-minded radicals who sought to retain a socialist entity outside the confines of a regimented communal existence." ("Utopias on Puget Sound 1885-1915," Charles Pierce LeWarne)
Freeland lasted longer than most such communal experiments, but eventually improving economic opportunities enticed the most ambitious members away, and it slowly evolved away. Excepting the name, there are few evident signs of this past to the visitor today, and the grand Victorian building that houses China City and various offices upstairs stands in sharp contrast to the modest farms of the community's founding. But despite the ornate surroundings, the restaurant's offerings may live up to the old ideals of parity, serving very average American Chinese food and suburban bar cocktails.