Date
27 July 2017
The famous egg tart that made Honolulu Coffee Shop a household name among its customers. The shop is closing on Saturday after operating in the same shop space for 20 years. Photos: Openrice.com, baidu.com
The famous egg tart that made Honolulu Coffee Shop a household name among its customers. The shop is closing on Saturday after operating in the same shop space for 20 years. Photos: Openrice.com, baidu.com

Central coffee shop falls victim to sky-high rent

Honolulu Coffee Shop, made famous by its Hong Kong-style egg tart, is closing after 20 years on the same premises in Central, a victim of soaring rent.

It posted notices on its doors and on Facebook that it be will be closing on Saturday with the expiry of its lease, Headline Daily reports.

The owner of the shop space has signed a contract with the Tsui Wah chain of restaurants for a monthly rent of HK$400,000 (US$51,520).

The Central shop at 33 Stanley Street sells 1,000 egg tarts and 200 pineapple buns a day.

The restaurant’s name was inspired by a Hawaiian coffee of which founder Yeung Jin-hei is an avid fan. 

The coffee shop started operations under a different name in the 1940s in Sham Shui Po as a small outlet serving only drinks and baked foods.

After moving to Wan Chai, it began serving various options for lunch, tea and dinner.

Its Central branch has been around since 1996 and has been a popular place for tea among workers in Central.

Regular customers are heartbroken by the news, with some saying they hope it will reopen in another location, albeit a smaller one.

Derrick Yeung, the founder’s son who is also a director of the coffee shop, said it was not the owner of the shop space that initiated the rent increase but Tsui Wah.

The shop survived the worst of Hong Kong’s slump from the financial crisis to SARS but could not afford the new rent, Yeung said.

With the closure of the Central outlet, the cafe will have only two stores left — in Wanchai and Tseung Kwan O.

Yeung said he will only consider opening up in less expensive areas.

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