Set during the Republican era, the story follows Chen Huai Hai, the owner of an old Shandong tavern as he strives to make a living in Dalian.
Chen Huai Hai used to dig for ginseng in the deep woods of Dong Bei. He experiences a big blow when his children are separated and his wife leaves him. Left with no choice, he moves to Dalian which was under Japanese colonial rule at the time to open up a tavern.
The tavern becomes a place of information where people from all walks of life convene. As a man with strong morals, Chen Huai Hai does what he can to protect his countrymen from the Japanese. He becomes acquainted with Gu San Mei who turns the tavern into a communications station for the Communist party. Under her influence, Chen Huai Hai and his family play a part in the anti-occupation efforts.