It’s a blow for locals and cinephiles alike.
Citing the high cost of renting their Causeway Bay location, the Goldfinch Restaurant, made famous by Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love , has announced it will be moving to new premises by the end of September.
The establishment, which is more than 50 years old, was one of the city’s first “western-style” restaurants.
Its distinctive interior — complete with leather booths and green wallpaper — served as the backdrop for several scenes from Wong Kar-wai’s film In the Mood for Love, most notably this sequence where the protagonists — played by Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung — discover their spouses are having an affair with each other.
The Goldfinch restaurant closed down very briefly in late-2015, but reopened again the following year in the same spot on Lan Fong Road, and regulars hoped it would see another 50 years.
But according to Apple Daily, the restaurant will move to new premises in Kyoto Plaza on Lockhart Road by September 25, and will also change its name to Hong Kong Feeling.
Speaking to the newspaper, the manager of the restaurant, known only as Daniel, said: “At the moment business every month has been so-so, and the landlord has increased the rent, so there isn’t really any other option.”
When asked if they would decorate the new restaurant to look like the Lan Fong Road premises, Daniel said that they haven’t decided on that matter yet, but noted all of the tables, chairs and booths will be moved to the new restaurant.
He also told the newspaper that there were no plans to change their menu, which includes signature items like steak and lobster with cheese, and even set menus for couples themed around In the Mood for Love and 2046 — another Wong Kar-wai film.
News of the move upset many restaurant patrons.
One of them, named Betty, told the newspaper the move was a shame, saying she appreciated the old songs the restaurant played as background music, something, she said, that brought back memories of years gone by.
Another customer surnamed Cheung reminisced that the Goldfinch was great place for courtship.
“When I was at school, my guy friends would bring their dates here for a western-style meal, because back then there were a lot of dance halls and cinemas, so this place was convenient,” he told the newspaper.
“There are very few old-style restaurants like this place, everything these days is brand new just like Times Square.”