Yau Ma Tei restaurant So Boring, which allows patrons to pay as much as they wish for a meal, is seeking to raise HK$300,000 to move to a new location, following a rent hike.

The “anti-capitalist” vegetarian restaurant said that it plans to relocate at the end of January, when its current lease expires. Its landlord had decided to raise the monthly rent of the 200 sq ft premises – for the second time in three years – to HK$15,000.

So Boring. Photo: HKFP.
So Boring. Photo: HKFP.

“We cannot criticise the landlord too much for not discussing [the issues of] community, sharing and relationships with us,” wrote So Boring on Facebook on Thursday.” However… apart from asking you [customers] for a couple more dollars per meal to pay for our rent, we have another choice.” The restaurant blamed the commencement of engineering works immediately outside its premises in April 2016. This reduced the availability of outdoor space where its patrons could eat.

So Boring now plans to temporarily move to a unit on the same street – Shop 3, 2 Tak Cheong Lane – before seeking a new permanent location. Shop 3 is a community space that houses a vegetarian co-operative restaurant.

It said it would use the raised funds to renovate the temporary location at Shop 3, as well as pay deposit and renovation fees for a future permanent location. No specific timeline was given for the fundraiser.

Engineering works outside So Boring. Photo: So Boring via Facebook.
Engineering works outside So Boring. Photo: So Boring via Facebook.

The restaurant last launched a fundraiser two years ago, in January 2015. At the time, its premises had been sold to a new landlord, who raised monthly rent from HK$11,000 to HK$13,000. The fundraiser met its target of HK$56,600.

So Boring will hold farewell eating events on January 15 and 25, and also plans to stage a concert at some point.

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Established in June 2013, the “pay as you wish” restaurant is located at Shop 7, 2 Tak Cheong Lane in Yau Ma Tei, and opens every evening.

Elson Tong is a graduate of international relations and former investigations consultant. He has also written for Stand News.