Dwindling evening crowd at popular American restaurant in Harbour City

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25th June 2024 – (Hong Kong) A Hong Kong man expressed his disappointment over the unusually quiet evening scene at a popular American restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui’s Harbour City. The post, shared on the Facebook group, highlighted the lacklustre atmosphere and the early start of kitchen cleaning activities at 9.30pm, a time when the restaurant would typically be packed with customers. This observation led the poster to express his nostalgia, stating, “It’s disheartening to see such a change. In the past, there would be a long queue outside the restaurant at this hour. I understand the economy is thriving, but things have clearly shifted.”

Accompanying the post was a photo capturing the interior of the restaurant, which showed only two occupied tables while the remaining ones were left vacant. Close-ups revealed the presence of counting machines and documents on one of the tables, indicating the preparation of financial matters.

The post sparked a heated discussion among netizens, with some suggesting that the food and beverage industry should reflect on its own shortcomings. One individual questioned, “What happened to the good old days?” while another remarked, “Even during peak hours, there are still many available seats at certain restaurants. If the food is good, people will still flock to them.” Another netizen cautioned against blaming Hong Kong residents who have migrated to mainland China, emphasising that the quality of food, service, and price are directly proportional. One comment nostalgically recalled, “I used to go there all the time…”

On the other hand, some netizens attributed the decline in evening foot traffic to changing lifestyle habits among Hong Kong residents. They pointed out that very few people venture out at 9pm nowadays, and by 9.30pm, most establishments have already closed. Normalising the situation, one netizen remarked, “Given the scorching weather, it’s better to stay home and order takeaway,” while another highlighted the increasing number of food options available, including fast-food chains like McDonald’s. Another netizen chimed in, saying, “It’s normal for a restaurant to start cleaning and tallying accounts at 9.30pm. You’ll find most places closing by then.