Another restaurant establishment in central London’s Chinatown has announced it will close permanently – the latest in a series of long-running business shutdowns in a region whose tenants are increasingly exposed to the mercy of rising rents, the “place industry” and broader demographic and business shifts in the area. half of the past decade.
Restaurant owners wrote on Instagram:
“It is with a sad heart we announce that we will be closing our doors effective July 4 and there will be a change of management. The current team will all be leaving after nearly 30 years of service and we want to say a big thank you to all of you who have supported us, especially in the past two years of the pandemic.
“We are really grateful to all of you. Thank you so much for your trust and support, we will miss you so much.”
Joy King Lau is one of the generation of Cantonese restaurants in the area, dating back to the 1980s and 1990s, serving dim sum during the day and a full menu of grilled meats, fried dishes, curries and soups for dinner. They are particularly popular for siu mai and har gau, according to this guide to the best dumplings in London.
A pattern has emerged whereby these restaurants are now frequently closed, as a new generation of business moves on because rent-to-order in 2022 is primarily determined by the area’s most powerful owner, Shaftesbury, and his peers. Joy King Lau is not a tenant of Shaftesbury, but it belongs to the “Chinatown London” portfolio brand that the owner created and owns.
What’s more, it fits with a pattern recently noted by James Hansen, when analyzing the massive merger of landlords CapCo and Shaftesbury. He wrote: “Consider the deliberate reconfiguration of Chinatown into a TikTok-enhanced monolithic playground of bubbles and fried chicken, while Cantonese establishments that no one wants to disappear are forced to close shop.”
A representative of the restaurant responded to Eater’s request for comment, saying that he was “unsure of future plans for the brand itself,” suggesting that the restaurant’s name could continue and new operators could take over on the premises.
The restaurant also wrote on Instagram that its manager, King – “[whom] You often see a bustle in her suit every day! “I would like to thank all the team that made it possible for us to create and serve food that we are so passionate about. You will miss all of our guests, from the regulars to those who only passed through our doors once…”
The restaurant will be closed next Sunday, July 3 at 3 pm
Update: June 27, 2022 9:20 PM: This article has been updated to make an implied indication that Shaftesbury PLC was the owner of Joy King Lau.
Update: June 28, 2022 5:58 PM: This article has been updated to include a response from Joy King Lau.