Pei Ho cha chaan teng, a Hong Kong-style Chinese BBQ tea restaurant in Sham Shui Po, is set to reopen in mid-June, thanks to the donations received by its owner Chan Cheuk-ming.
Chan, also known as Ming Gor or Brother Ming, received backing from several people as he was well known in the neighborhood for offering cheap or even free meals to the poor and needy.
Earlier this year, Chan was forced to look for new premises due to rent hike at his old facility.
He found a place at concessionary rent but was still confronted with a lot of other costs.
Amid this situation, warm-hearted donors came to his rescue, offering him help in kind.
Chan received donations such as cooking tools, construction materials, lamps, televisions and air-conditioners, helping him save over HK$400,000.
According to a post by a Facebook Group named Sham Shui Post, Chan is yet to cover all his costs but the donations are allowing him to go ahead with plans for a reopening of his restaurant.
As the new facility will no longer be just a cha chaan teng, Chan decided to name the outlet “Pei Ho Counterparts (北河同行)”, a name used by a voluntary group gathered by him.
He told Apple Daily that he hopes after the opening of the outlet in Sham Shui Po, there will be more branches in different places in Hong Kong, such as Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai.
Among the various donations, Chan said he was really surprised and pleased as he received a calligraphy nameplate from Chua Lam (蔡瀾), a famous travel columnist and food critic.
The calligraphy was of the restaurant’s new name.
Chan said he hopes that Chua will come to the restaurant’s opening ceremony.
In other comments, he said he is confident that he can self-finance the restaurant in the future as he sees it as a social enterprise.
In February, Chan was asked by his previous landlord to move his restaurant out of the Tai Nan Street premises by the end of March as Chan failed to agree to a 25 percent rent hike.
In March, he received an offer from a friend to avail of new premises at relatively low rent. Following that offer, Chan received a lot of other help from people in the form of equipment and other things.
Given Chan’s charitable nature and generosity towards the poor, many people in the neighborhood felt that they should help him get back on his feet and allow him to continue his good work.
Chloe Chow contributed to this article.
Restaurant owner finds new home to help needy neighbors (March 22, 2016)
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