Closure of restaurants in Stanley Murray House, parent company CEO plans to sell HK$500m worth of assets

Anna Chau

25th June 2024 – (Hong Kong) The retail sector in Hong Kong is experiencing a major downturn, leading to a surge in business closures. Recently, the once bustling tourist destination of Stanley Murray House, a local hotspot, was revealed to be a heavily affected area. Not only are the streets deserted, but even the iconic Stanley Murray House, which has housed various businesses for many years, has become a ghost building. Among the well-known establishments that have recently closed their doors in the building are the “King Ludwig Beerhall” and “Ocean Rock Seafood & Tapas,” both of which operated for nearly 20 years before officially shutting down in April of this year.

Research conducted by local media HK01 has discovered that the parent company of these two restaurants, King Parrot, recently quietly put up for auction a range of properties, including residential units, office spaces, and industrial buildings. The total value of these properties, based on the auction starting prices, amounts to approximately HK$45.4 million. It is worth noting that Anna Chau, the CEO of King Parrot Holdings Limited, is a prominent local entrepreneur. The group had opened four establishments within a year in 2000 on Knutsford Terrace, earning Chau the title of the “Queen of Lan Kwai Fong in Kowloon.”

King Parrot recently utilised a private auction to sell off a selection of properties, including a residential unit in Tsim Sha Tsui’s Knutsford Terrace, a unit in Discovery Bay’s Discovery Bay, an office unit in Wan Chai, and an industrial unit in Chai Wan.

The starting prices for the residential units in Tsim Sha Tsui and Discovery Bay are HK$3.5 million and HK$4.1 million, respectively. The office unit in Wan Chai has a starting price of HK$25.9 million, while the industrial unit in Chai Wan starts at HK$11.9 million. With respect to the auction prices, the total value of these units amounts to approximately HK$45.4 million.

One of the units, a residential unit at Yiu Pont House, No. 12 Knutsford Terrace in Tsim Sha Tsui, has a sale price of HK$3.5 million, which translates to approximately HK$8,353 per square foot. This price is even lower than recent transactions for two-bedroom units in the Jiahu Villa in Tin Shui Wai, which averaged around HK$9,000 per square foot. However, it should be noted that King Parrot had opened four branches in Tsim Sha Tsui’s Knutsford Terrace within a year in 2000.

King Parrot Group had acquired these properties between 1995 and 2003, and it is estimated that the company stands to make substantial profits from their resale. Market sources have revealed that, in addition to the units mentioned, the group has already successfully sold off other properties prior to their auction.

The properties in question are owned by companies such as Hoover Mark Enterprises Limited, King Parrot Holdings Limited, and King Parrot Group Limited. The directors of these companies include Anna Chau, CEO of King Parrot Group, Chow Ka-man, a board member of the group, and other relevant individuals.

Anna Chau, the CEO of King Parrot Group, is a well-known local entrepreneur who gained the nickname “Queen of Lan Kwai Fong in Kowloon” due to the group’s opening of four branches within a year on Knutsford Terrace in 2000. During the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival held in October 2023 after a five-year hiatus, Chau mentioned that business would need to surpass pre-pandemic levels at least by the following year. She attributed the decrease in local consumer spending to the increased number of people travelling abroad this year.

The King Parrot Group, established in 1992, is a local chain of restaurants and has created over 20 restaurant brands and opened more than 30 themed restaurants. However, currently, only 11 of their restaurants remain in operation. The most well-known establishments under the group were the “King Ludwig Beerhall” and “Ocean Rock Seafood & Tapas,” located in Stanley Murray House in Repulse Bay. The “King Ludwig Beerhall” had been in business for approximately 20 years, and both restaurants officially closed their doors in April this year.