Lantau’s Mavericks bar and restaurant is set to close in May following a breakdown in the relationship with the landlord. The Pui O eatery is seeking new premises, though several staff will lose their jobs, HKFP has learned.

“We’ve survived natural disasters, fires and typhoons but in the end our nemesis was economics. Significantly changing financial circumstances mean that Mavericks can no longer do business at our current location, so with great sadness we announce that we have just four weekends left here on Pui O Beach,” a message on the restaurant’s Facebook page said on Wednesday night.

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Head Chef Neil Tomes told HKFP that Mavericks was asked to leave the beachfront site after an 80 per cent rent hike. The landlord also fell out with the owners after rejecting an annual catering bid from them. Tomes said their bid for the landlord’s event had increased in cost as the restaurant had sought to source ingredients more ethically.

Update: Site operator at Lantau’s Mavericks pledges to keep restaurant open and retain staff

He added that they had even offered a subsidised, non-profit contract in the hope it would help them retain the Pui O site, but were asked to vacate the premises within 30 days. “Judging by the Facebook comments everyone who knows how special it was are gutted,” Tomes told HKFP. “[W]e don’t have other restaurants but are looking for a new home.”

Four full-time staff, and several part-timers are set to lose their jobs, Tomes added.


Customers on Facebook shared their experiences and sadness over the closure: “Totally and utterly gutted for all of us who love Mavericks. Thinking of you and your entire team! Thanks for being such an awesome community place where kids and adults have had plenty of love, fun and laughs. You’re the best,” wrote one user.

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“I am so gutted to hear about this. Speechless. But we have memories to treasure forever. Such a great family of people from all backgrounds united and worked together which made this place special,” wrote another fan.

A closing event featuring UK DJ Goldie will be held on Saturday, May 12.

Tom is the editor-in-chief and founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Al-Jazeera and others.