I read a really sad little announcement in the newspaper this morning. Tai Cheong Bakery, in Hong Kong, is closing on the 25th of May, after 51 years in business. Tai Cheong, famous for its egg tarts, is, for those that haven’t heard of it, an institution in Hong Kong. Ex-Governor Chris Patten was just one of many well-known patrons.
When I worked in Hong Kong, Tai Cheong was a two minute hop downhill from my office (which was just a 10 minute walk from my home). I’d say that in my two years there, I must have eaten several dozen Tai Cheong egg tarts. And I enjoyed every one.
Tai Cheong is closing because its landlords have raised its rent by 110%, essentially forcing it to move out or close. I really don’t want to say too much about this, but this kind of thing always makes my blood boil. A similar thing happened in Morningside Heights, New York City (the neighborhood around Columbia University, where I went to school). Eager to gentrify the area and get better-paying tenants, many of the landlords in Morningside Heights (the worst culprit, I might add, was the university itself) drove out all the “mom & pop” stores and restaurants that gave that neighborhood character. Now, the area lacks uniqueness, what with the Starbucks and fast food chains that have replaced decades-old institutions.
If you can get to Tai Cheong before 25 May, please have a tart for me.
Tai Cheong Bakery, 32 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong. Tel:2544-3475