Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Central Space

Today I went to Holly Brown Coffee on Stanley Street in Central to meet a friend.  I have been there at night to get some Gelato for Cayenne after dinner at Luk Yu, but never actually set down for a cup of Joe.  It is a really big place with almost about 1500sf ground level and another similar size upstairs lounging seating area.  It was around 245pm and it was quite busy with people coming in and out for coffee, ice-cream and a light lunch.  My friend and I set down upstairs for a about 1.5hrs, I had a sandwich and Latte, and he had a latte and muffin.  I cannot help but wonder, can a place like this survive in Central with such high rent? Each person that goes in and out of there will have an average ticket about $50 to be generous. With a little rule of thumb calculation, they will need to serve about 150-200 customer a day to make ends meet.  I really enjoyed the spacious and comfortable environment, quality food, good efficient service and freshly roasted Tall Skim Latte for $38.  I actually think that they have everything that you can think of for breakfast, Lunch, simple dinner Dessert and even some coffee beans to take home.  I think it is a nice break away from crowded Central, will they survive the cruel rent of Central,  I hope they do, cause I like it!

After some errands and meeting Jonathan for a wine tasting event, I decided to go find some dinner while waiting for Jonathan to finish up.  Walking along Wellington Street, thinking what I should eat and what I want to eat, I stumble into Wang Fu 王府 traditional Beijing dumplings and dishes.  Small hole in the wall about say 700sf dining space, seats about 40ppl max.  I ordered their special of the day Fennel and Pork Dumpling, a cold potato salad and pickled cucumber.   It was delicious and the whole dinner cost me about $90.  The older gentleman manning the cash register, looks like he is from Beijing, also speaks good English.  He was helping the French table next to me navigate the menu.  I think his English is almost better than the French.  They have been in this location for quite some time.  With an average check for about $90 per person.  Again with some simple rule of thumb math, they need to serve 40-50 people a day to make it.  I have seen their place at lunch, it is always packed with people dining and people waiting outside for take-out.  I think they are doing quite ok, I hope they do cause I like it!