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Food scene lights up with high-end international restaurant brands and top chefs delighting local and visiting food fans
Leading international Food and Beverage (F&B) groups are actively looking to expand in Hong Kong, sensing increased opportunities for premium spaces in the city's evolving retail landscape. They're seeking large, unique flagship spaces in new signature buildings in high-profile locations, predominantly, Central.
The trendiest global F&B brands are turning their gazes upwards - way above the traditional ground floor restaurant locations where some rents can remain stubbornly high. Demand is surging for rooftops and terraces among both operators and patrons, who revel in the additional space—typically ranging between 6,000 and 10,000 sq ft—and views of the dramatic city skyline.
Major names, such as Michelin-starred Italian restaurant Mercato in California Tower, are making their debut to the delight of local gourmet lovers and visitors.
"One of the newest modern lifestyle complexes in Lan Kwai Fong, California Tower is the hottest go-to spot for dining and night life. As such, it generates the clientele that Mercato is targeting in Hong Kong," says Julia Chen, Director of Marketing and Communication, Three on the Bund.
"California Tower, in the Central business district, is surrounded by premium offices, which drive great demand for business lunches. Its high ceilings, almost column-free spaces, and open terraces allowed our restaurant designers to fully utilize the space. Its vibrant, chic brand image and ambience fit perfectly with Mercato's concept."
This city, where East meets West, is a must-try location on the globetrotting food lover's map. It has earned a reputation for offering an expansive variety of regional and global cuisine styles. Hong Kong's action-packed lifestyle, with residents working long hours and having limited cooking facilities at home, fuels the culture of eating out.
"As a group, we've wanted to expand in Hong Kong for a few years now," says Barbara Kukno, Business Development Director at Bulldozer Group. "Hong Kong is the food epicentre of Asia."
The Russian restaurant giant has now brought Seafood Room to the 26th floor of Causeway Bay's newest skyscraper, Tower 535. It was the first F&B brand to take up space in the building.
"When we found a view available like the one we have now, we couldn't resist," adds Kukno.
Despite the tight supply of signature buildings, the evolving retail market is opening up opportunities for F&B operators keen to expand. JLL has observed that some streets that used to be predominantly retail, now offer more of a mixture of F&B and retail. Operators keen to bring new concepts to Hong Kong are increasingly exploring larger spaces because they perceive the market to be more flexible and accommodating.
Examples abound. Beef Bar's Hong Kong flagship secured a terrace lease at the newly revamped retail podium at Club Lusitano in Central. Dining Concepts took a space for a new steak house at V Point, the latest building to open on Tang Lung Street in Causeway Bay, and the Maison 8 group opened an 8,000 sq ft restaurant in a Lai San Group building at 8 Observatory Road, Tsim Sha Tsui.
Other international brands – many of whom are new on the city scene – are already looking to follow in their wake: a sign that Hong Kong will remain an appetizing market for international restaurant brands in the months and years to come.
For more information, please contact Michelle Chiu or visit our dedicated F&B and Lifestyle Retail webpage.
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Head of F&B and Lifestyle, Retail, Hong Kong
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Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications
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