Chubby Papa’s Deli in Kennedy Town to shut down on 28th April 

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Chubby Papa’s Deli

20th April 2024 – (Hong Kong) Chubby Papa’s Deli, renowned for serving the city’s finest Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, is closing its doors. This small but beloved eatery, tucked away beside an industrial area on Belcher’s Street in Kennedy Town, has become the latest casualty of the city’s challenging restaurant economy.

Chef Jason Loyd, the American culinary talent behind Chubby Papa’s, recently announced the impending closure of his establishment after a two-year stint. The news came via an Instagram post where he expressed his heartfelt decision, citing the unsupportive business environment as the primary reason for the shutdown. The deli’s operations will cease on 28th April.

Loyd’s venture began as a personal ambition to bring a slice of his homeland’s flavours to Hong Kong. His menu featured not only the beloved Philly cheesesteak but also other American classics such as the Reuben sandwich, Buffalo chicken grilled cheese, and a variety of meat-laden heroes. Despite his efforts and the high quality of his offerings, the location in a predominantly local area, where residents favor more affordable Chinese dining options, has proven less than ideal.

The decision to close is not taken lightly. “The financials are not working out. The returns are not what I expected,” Loyd explained, indicating a plan to regroup and rethink his future moves. Having moved to Hong Kong in 2011 and with no initial intentions to settle, Loyd’s journey in the city has been significant. Starting with a contract, then marrying and building a family here, he has been deeply integrated into the local scene.

Despite the high-quality ingredients and culinary expertise that went into every sandwich, the pricing at Chubby Papa’s proved to be a significant barrier for the local clientele. With sandwiches priced well over HK$100, they were considered too expensive for many residents of Kennedy Town, who typically prefer dining options under that price point, particularly for Chinese cuisine which dominates the local food culture.

This challenge was compounded by the deli’s secluded location next to an industrial area, which not only limited foot traffic but also diminished its appeal as a viable business venture for potential buyers. Given these obstacles, Chef Loyd faces a tough road ahead in his efforts to sell the business. The combination of high product pricing and an out-of-the-way location has significantly narrowed the pool of interested entrepreneurs, making it unlikely that he will find a buyer willing to take over the establishment under its current concept and location.

Address: Shop 29, G/F, Hoi Tao Building, 7-11 Belcher’s Street, Kennedy Town, Western District.

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