UPDATED: The much-loved Hong Kong restaurant and live entertainment venue Grappa’s Cellar is set to close in July after the venue’s owners decided not the renew the lease.
According to a Change.org petition, venue owner Hongkong Land has decided not to renew Grappa Cellar’s lease when it expires on July 31, citing a “change of concept” and a plan to turn the venue into a food court. (Just what Hong Kong needs.)
As petition organizer Karen Tong aptly notes, the venue “has hosted numerous cultural, charity and community events for the past 20 years. The things that make it special — its classic style, medium-large (350+) capacity, and location in the basement of Jardine House in Central (which means it does not suffer noise complaints, the most common problem facing performing arts venues within the city) — make it near impossible to replace.”
In addition to live music, Grappa’s Cellar has played host to comedy acts, a local swing dance club, and even bitcoin enthusiast meet-ups. A representative for Hong Kong Comedy Bunker, which regularly organizes stand-up performances at Grappa’s, told Coconuts HK in a statement that it would be a shame to lose the venue.
“Grappa’s is a beautiful venue that supports the comedy world. Great comedians such as Al Murray, Doug Stanhope, [and] Tom Green have played there. While ‘Never Mind the Buzzcocks’ star, Phill Jupitus is playing this Saturday. It’s a real tragedy for the comedy world if we lose this gem as a performance space.”
The organization said it currently had no other venues lined up to replace Grappa’s.
Social media users, meanwhile, were already urging others to “Save Grappa’s Cellar” shortly after news of the impending closure circulated.
“Help the city out and sign the petition,” one said. “It may do nothing, but it’s worth a shot.”
Another struck a more mournful tone, noting he had “met so many people there over the years as they passed through Hong Kong. It will be missed!”
NOTE: This story has been updated to include a statement from Hong Kong Comedy Bunker.