HK Magazine Archive

Solicitor Comes to Grappa's Defense Amid Pacific Place Closure

The iconic Dan Ryan's is also being forced out of the upmarket Hong Kong mall. 

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 March, 2016, 1:04pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 5:01pm

Local solicitor Jonathan Midgley has started a campaign on Facebook to save Grappa’s restaurant, a home-style Italian restaurant that’s been open for 26 years, as the Pacific Place institution faces closure.

Another long-time restaurant Dan Ryan’s Chicago Grill will be forced out of Pacific Place after 27 years—Dan Ryan’s has long been an icon in Hong Kong. When word got out that Grappa’s would be the next to go, Midgley decided to speak out.

“I think it is unfair that the restaurants have to close down just because the landlords decide so. And it’s unfair to the people who love them too,” he says. “It’s a pretty poor show.”

Midgley admits little else can be done aside from his Facebook campaign.

“I just hope that by speaking out, Swire Properties can think twice about it,” he says, adding that other cities like New York cherish long-time establishments instead of throwing them out.

When the Domani restaurant in Pacific Place closed on May 18, 2014, after its lease with Swire Properties expired, Midgley wrote a letter to Swire asking for their reconsideration. His letter was never answered.

"Over the past 25 years, we’ve developed many long-term relationships with customers that we cherish, across different generations. We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to do so, and naturally we want more than anything to be able to stay in Pacific Place," says J.R. Robertson, the managing director of El Grande Holdings, which owns Grappa's and also owned Domani.