Last orders will be called in Sai Kung's oldest pub at the end of next month.
The Duke of York in Fuk Man Road will serve its final beer on Saturday, November 30, after keeping its loyal regulars happy for the past 25 years. The pub is leased in two units - one consisting of the bar itself and the other with a pool table and seats. The unit with the pool table and seats was bought by a mainlander who has raised the rent by 50 per cent.
This left pub owner Ricky Hie Kong-king with no other option but to close the popular watering hole. Hie has been working in the Duke for the past 19 years, starting as barman when he was 17 years old. He progressed to bar manager before finally becoming the pub's owner.
"It's just how the economy is today. Rents are being raised all over Hong Kong, everywhere. I've also been running the business for so long that I need a break," Hie said. "Hopefully we'll be able to organise a farewell party for all our customers and give the place a good send-off."
Hie has no plans to start another Duke Of York bar.
"Many of our customers have been drinking here for the past 15 to 20 years and only drink in the Duke, so it'll be a big change for them to drink elsewhere. It's sad that this has to happen but there's nothing that can be done about it," he said.
One of the pub's regulars is Peter King, who works for RTHK Radio 3, and has been drinking in the bar since it first opened. He said that Hie and his family had worked tirelessly to keep the place going and it was a shame that it was going to close.
"It really is an iconic pub in Sai Kung and will be a huge loss for many people. It's just another part of old Sai Kung that is sadly disappearing," King said.