​Farewell to the iconic Sammy’s Kitchen neon sign in Sheung Wan

The famous neon cow sign advertising Sammy’s Kitchen hung over the streets of Sai Wan for decades. Photo: Western District via Facebook
The famous neon cow sign advertising Sammy’s Kitchen hung over the streets of Sai Wan for decades. Photo: Western District via Facebook

Glaring since 1978, the iconic cow-shaped Sammy’s Kitchen neon sign on Queen’s Road West was taken down by the Buildings Department yesterday. Boo/moo!

The government is in the process of demolishing all illegal and unsafe structures, and the 37-year-old sign is unfortunately one of its targets.

In the afternoon, photos of a crane truck and workers tying ropes around the embattle bovine were shared on Facebook. The sign was finally taken down in the late afternoon.

Netizens shared their collective memories associated with the cow.

“My mom used to work in Western District and brought me to this restaurant often. I miss their lemon chicken dish,” said one commentator, who clearly doesn’t get that the restaurant is still open.

The current owner of Sammy’s kitchen, surnamed Lam, said the cow sign will be displayed in the West Kowloon Cultural District’s M+ Museum in the near future, reports Apple Daily.

“The cow is now retired and we found him a good host.”

Lam added that the authorities notified them about the removal months ago but denied their appeal request. The removal of the supposedly unsafe cow was then scheduled for after the completion of the new Sai Yin Pun MTR Station. #HongKongPriorities. 

The 10-foot-tall and 16-foot-wide neon sign was tailormade for Lam’s father, Sammy himself, and cost around HKD50,000, which was the equivalent to buying a flat back in the day. Just imagine that!

Sammy’s original idea for the sign was an Angus cow with shorter legs and a chubbier body, but the designer changed it to a cow with longer legs, apparently for aesthetic reasons. The leggier lovely subsequently became one of the most iconic neon signs in Hong Kong.

Thankfully, we will still be able to see a light-up cow on Queen’s Road West in the near future. Lam said that a new sign, this time made with LED lights, is in the design process.

However, it will not be cow-shaped, but a picture of a cow inside a rectangular advertising board instead. Yeah, that probably won’t be displayed in a museum any time soon. 

Photo via Facebook Group Western District 


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