Hong Kong jazz bar Peel Fresco Music Lounge shutters its doors due to Covid-19 restrictions

Peel Fresco Music Lounge. Photo: Facebook/Peel Fresco Music Lounge
Peel Fresco Music Lounge. Photo: Facebook/Peel Fresco Music Lounge

Hong Kong jazz bar Peel Fresco Music Lounge has shuttered its doors due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The owners of the music and drinks venue in Central said in a Facebook post on Friday that it made “the tough decision” to close its doors permanently after 16 years of operations.

“The past three years have made it impossible to run a live music business in Hong Kong,” they said.

“This [Hong Kong government’s] continuous illogical and unsubsidized live performances ban simply made it impossible for us to go on and match a Soho commercial rent and related expenses. Holding on to the hope — every two weeks — that the [government] would announce the [lifting] of the ban led to a financial and mental disaster.”

The owners added that live music was the venue’s “blood” and “core business” all these years, accounting for 90 percent of its revenue.

“We survived tough years, pointless weekly police raids in Peel Street, a psycho neighbor and tried to turn things around many times, but…let’s keep in mind all those great nights and talented artists we had there,” they said. 

The owners also thanked fans for their support and joy throughout the years. 

Peel Fresco frequently hosted top artists from the Hong Kong jazz scene, such as Allen Youngblood, Sybil Thomas, Eugene Pao and Ted Lo, and also promoted young talents.

Many have questioned the logic behind the government’s continued ban on live music performances at bars and restaurants, particularly after it allowed concerts, often with massive crowds, to resume.  

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