Swire Properties has announced it will not be renewing the lease of the popular restaurant Grappa’s in its Pacific Place mall. The restaurant will close in July after being a fixture in the mall for just over 25 years. HowardWinnReports.com wrote a few weeks ago that Swire was contemplating axing the restaurant as part of a strategy to ‘freshen up’ the mall.
General Manager of Pacific Place, Fiona Shiu, said in a press statement last night that the the operator of the restaurant, El Grande Concepts, had been informed that the lease would not be renewed when it expires later this year. A new restaurant operated by the Dining Concepts group will replace Grappa’s.
The closure of the restaurant will come as a disappointment to its patrons many of whom have petitioned Swire to reprieve the restaurant. Its departure follows the announcement that Dan Ryan’s, another popular restaurant, was also being eased out to be replaced by a Japanese Italian fusion restaurant run by Chef Bombana’s Otto e Mezzo group. Swire is increasing the number of F&B outlets in the mall by 50% with the addition of ten new outlets.
Hong Kong’s retail sales have been declining and Swire managers want to arrest the decline and to create some of the the buzz achieved by its glitzier competitor at the IFC mall in Central.