THE DARK SIDE OF HONG KONG NIGHT LIFE 1

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(Source: Daily Postal)

Yes, we keep hearing the mantra that the success of any bar, club or restaurant is location, location, location.

But in image-conscious Hong Kong, I don’t think that really matters- plus little Hong Kong is highly spread out with most of everything within walking distance.

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(Source: Think Future)

For example, take Restoration. Located where once there were so many big plans for the now-closed Skylark Lounge on the first floor of 63 Wyndham Street, the restaurant, focusing on Cajun Cuisine, is always packed- even on what are slow days for many competitors.

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(Source: Sassy Hong Kong)

There are no “pimps” downstairs hustling people to come in- a real turn-off, something very tacky and local and a sign of desperation- with the restaurant managing to have a very loyal customer base- and from where they build and expand their clientele.

Is the cuisine brilliant? It’s only Okay to some, I love Jack’s Fried Chicken whereas those with a fondness for greens fob it off as having too many fried dishes.

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(Source: HK Magazine)

So what’s the attraction? Most likely having an American chef and manageress. In Hong Kong, no matter what anyone says, this makes a huge difference and is a very strong USP.

Many of Hong Kong’s shee shee crowd and chuppies wishing to be seen as trendsetters are dedicated followers of fashion and, as a restaurant, like Sevva or Da Domenico, Restoration is perceived as having The Cool Factor.

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(Source: Photo Bucket)

People make any restaurant, club or bar and Restoration has a very good mix of high-paying customers.

As one of our guests was unimpressed with the restaurant when there on Friday, after dinner, she took us up to Arbuthnot Road- a five minute walk away- and where we walked into a seriously large- and also packed- bar and restaurant where Chez Moi used to be.

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(Source: Trip Advisor)

I have no idea the name of this new establishment and whether it’s making money, but it has managed to attract the “right looking people” and LOOKS successful.

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(Source: Watt Pad)

Of course, looks can be deceiving but it does keep the investors happy until the various bottom lines are scrutinized.

This is when the hard facts of business come into play.

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(Source: LuLu)

It’s like all those bars and restaurants packed to the rafters as one takes the the Central escalator up to the Soho area of town and see the full houses all the way from The Yorkshire Pudding and up and the always-packed Peak Bar and Cafe on the other side of the street.

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(Source: Trip Advisor)

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(Source: Asia Bars)

It’s a very different and more “expat middle income crowd” and without a chuppie or yuppie in sight, but the perception is that these eateries are doing a roaring trade. PERCEPTION. And sometimes, perception is king- and queen.

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(Source: Type Pad)

But with rents spiraling outta control, how well are they REALLY doing and why do so many of these places open and close with the regularity of a hooker’s legs?

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(Source: Key Properties UK)

Who knows, but what I do know is just one minute from this area and onto Elgin Street, apart from a few small pubs, it’s Dylan’s Desolation Row and waiters and waitresses outside trying to pimp where they’re working.

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(Source: Flickr)

As mentioned, it’s a turn-off and reminiscent of a tourist somewhere being hustled and hassled.

It’s cheap and nasty and something that belongs down on Nathan Road’s tarnished “Golden Mile”.

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(Source: Aahabershaw)

Still, this emptiness down Elgin Street and the emptiness of many surrounding bars and restaurants plus the recent closure of the intimate club that was Joyce Is Not Here on Peel Street shows a very fragmented and cliquey local food and beverage scene with over-supply outweighing demand which is great for consumers looking for variety on a regular basis.

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(Source: Open Rice)

Sadly, for many in this food and beverage business and those who invest in it is immense competition and a very strong whiff of snobbery where mediocre restaurants are vastly overrated along with “celebrity chefs” and, very frankly, self-styled “foodies” and restaurant critics who wouldn’t know their arse from their elbow and that something like cuisine is a matter of individual taste.

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(Source: Bottomline Publications)

But this is Hong Kong- image-conscious and the plastic fantastic Hong Kong- where many claim to know everything about something, but actually know nothing about anything and through whose ceaseless talk and the scattered and outdated thinking of “professionals”, mediocrity is allowed to rise to the surface- like crap- and everyone is happy in their own little la la worlds.

It’s all pretty sad- and best to stay in your own world, be true to your beliefs and keep your personal views very private.

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(Source: Biznology)