Popular dai pai dong Tung Po Kitchen will close on Friday, according to local media reports.
Ming Pao reported that the North Point dai pai dong, which opened 30 years ago, received a notice from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department a few days ago, stating that it is terminating the eatery’s lease and that it has to return the venue to the department by Friday.
The Chinese-language daily also quoted the restaurant’s manager as saying that the department was “unreasonable” and “ruthless” for not allowing a one-month grace period.
Replying to the paper’s inquiries, the department said that it found out that the four tenants of the four stalls in Tung Po Kitchen were not operating the stalls as sole proprietors.
A notice of intended termination of tenancy was issued on Aug. 3 and the lessee made representations thereafter, it added.
But the department said that there was still sufficient evidence to show that the lessee had violated the terms of the lease agreement, so it issued a notice of termination of tenancy to each of the lessees on Aug. 26, terminating the lease agreement signed with them and taking back the relevant market stalls.
The department added that if the tenants are dissatisfied with the decision to terminate the tenancy agreement, they may appeal in writing to the Municipal Services Appeals Board within 30 days from the date of the notice of termination of tenancy.
The dai pai dong is famous for its Wind Sand Chicken, renowned for its crispy exterior and moist meat, as well as for serving beer in bowls.
It has also attracted many famous people, including the late food critic Anthony Bourdain and actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who visited when he came to Hong Kong to promote Doctor Strange in 2016.
Tributes for the dai pai dong have started pouring in on social media.
“Goodbye Tung Po Kitchen,” said an Instagram user.
Another user said the dai pai dong’s imminent forced closure is a big loss for Hongkongers.
Illustrator Cuson Lo lamented how Tung Po Kitchen will soon shutter its doors like Jumbo Floating Restaurant, another beloved icon of Hong Kong’s food scene.