Die-hard fans had their last taste of Graham Street Market in Hong Kong’s Central district on Tuesday, tucking into fishballs, noodles and other favorites.
It was the last day for the 160-year-old street market, the oldest of its kind in Hong Kong, before shops closed permanently to give way to a government redevelopment project.
On Tuesday, the 17 remaining establishments were scheduled to move but before they closed for the day, they had served hundreds of oldtimers to their hearts’ content.
Queues had formed outside decades-old cafes and shops from early morning, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.
Many people lamented the loss of Sun King Kee, a fishball and noodle shop which has been a mainstay of Gage Street since 1982.
Owner Tong Kim-chi said Tuesday’s sales were triple those of any day.
He said he will work for an employer if he cannot find a new place for his business but he will wait for every opportunity.
Lau Lai, owner of Kwan Lok Restaurant, a traditional Hong Kong-style cafe also in Gage Street, is refusing to move.
She said she will leave only when she is satisfied with the compensation which she called unfair.
Also, she said she has not found a suitable place to restart her business.
The redevelopment, announced in 2007, is being undertaken by the Urban Renewal Authority which has been transforming some of Hong Kong’s old landmarks.
When completed, it will feature a hotel and offices around Gage Street, Cochrane Street, Wellington Street and Kin Sau Lane.
Meanwhile, Iris Tam, managing director of URA, resigned on Tuesday, citing “fundamental differences” with its chairman, after two years in the role.
“I find it totally unacceptable to position the URA as a developer or agent that supplies land to developers,” Tam wrote in an e-mail to staff.
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