Restaurateurs in SoHo fighting licensing restrictions and a ban on using the name in street signs have formulated a public relations strategy to woo Mid-Levels residents. In a circular by SoHo Association chairman Robert Tai, members have been advised to consider a group effort to placate residents. 'SoHo will be here for years to come, whether some like it or not. You can't stop this sort of change,' the letter read. 'To change the name SoHo would be taking a huge marketing step backwards. We should consider trying to organise something that gives the politicians and locals face. I suggest something for the local Chinese community at a Chinese festival. We could consider trying to participate in a locally organised show/festival.' The letter also suggests members should use the name SoHo as often as possible, on business cards, letterheads and menus, as well as in postal addresses. The Central and Western District Council recently banned street signs bearing the name SoHo, an area around Shelley, Staunton and Elgin streets, for fear they might be associated with the perceived seediness of its namesake in London. The area comprises about 150 shops and 50 bars and restaurants that have complained about having to keep their doors and windows shut after 6pm and stop selling alcohol after 11pm to avoid annoying residents. Clayton Parker, managing director of a restaurant in SoHo, said new businesses had been sensitive towards residents. 'We have not all of a sudden become sensitive,' he said. 'Most if not all of the new businesses in the area have been very sensitive to the residents. Our restaurants have actually invited all of the residents in our building for dinner. We provided them with a new mail box for the building and a new door. 'I have found the residents are also very fair and sensitive towards us as well. Politicians should be in the middle to help us get along.' But Mr Parker said he was disappointed with the Liquor Licensing Board's decision on Saturday to turn down his request to sell alcohol after 11pm at his new restaurant on Peel Street. He said he might appeal. Council member and Democrat Kam Nai-wai agreed better understanding was needed because the dispute had become a cultural war. 'Most of the restaurant operators are foreigners,' he said. 'The locals have lived here for decades and consider it their home, so they perceive the business expansion as a kind of foreign invasion. Certainly we are open to better communication, but there have to be some compromises. They have to listen to the concerns of local residents.'