“Syut”, the beloved Kwun Tong café run by local post-rock band tfsvsjs, is closing its doors in the coming weeks after the Lands Department deemed it a misuse of industrial space.
In an announcement made on Facebook, the band said the restaurant’s closure had been “tentatively set” for February, after neighbours repeatedly made noise complaints and the Lands Department told them they weren’t allowed to operate a restaurant in a factory building.
The post-rockers thanked customers and staff for their support, and detailed how they’d been able to “create more and more new dishes, produce a second album, and tour Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, and 15 cities in China” with the profits of the café.
“We’re most grateful for our staff; we know we’re bad bosses,” they joked. “But with their help, we’ve been able to expand in ways we never imagined before.”
For those looking to have one last meal at Syut, the band recommends booking a table online to avoid disappointment. It should also be noted that they will be closed over the Lunar New Year holiday period (Saturday Jan. 28 to Thursday Feb. 2).
Syut, which has been open since spring 2014 (and was the subject of this writer’s first ever food review on Coconuts Hong Kong), is a multipurpose space which serves as a restaurant during service hours, and a recording studio/rehearsal space in between.
With a pared-back, minimalist aesthetic, and beautifully executed European-inspired cuisine, it quickly became a favourite haunt for Hong Kong’s grassroots scene, entertaining local musicians, directors, artists, photographers and just all-round cool people.
The cafe’s closure comes just months after Hidden Agenda, widely considered to be Hong Kong’s premier indie concert venue, was forced to leave its third location in December after multiple run-ins with the Lands Department. The livehouse has since reopened in another location within Kwun Tong, getting around licensing issues by operating as a restaurant (with a Food Factory Licence) during the day.
While Kwun Tong is popular in the local grassroots scene due to its abundance of affordable warehouse spaces, many buildings in the district are exclusively zoned for industrial use, meaning they cannot technically be used for any commercial purpose.
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