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The Pawn
Photograph: Courtesy The Pawn

The Pawn to close on September 13 and come back as a contemporary Chinese restaurant

The 13-year-old restaurant and bar in Wan Chai will transform later this year

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Written by
Fontaine Cheng
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Modern European restaurant and bar The Pawn, named after the Woo Cheong Pawn Shop, is set to close its doors this month to undergo a transformation and be reborn as a contemporary Cantonese restaurant and bar by the end of 2021. But this is not the only change that The Pawn has gone through over the years.

Photograph: Facebook/OldHKPhoto

The Woo Cheong Pawn Shop, a Grade II historic building which was originally built in 1888 by a local pawnshop trader, was part of four adjoining tenement houses before it was revitalised in 2007 to feature an exhibition space and restaurants, one of which was The Pawn.

The Pawn, which sits in the middle of Johnson Road in Wan Chai, has been something of a landmark since and has made good use of the pawn shop's Chinese and Western architectural features including a high ceiling, French windows to the balconies, and light wells, to create a restaurant that encompasses elements of old and new. The restaurant itself has also seen a fair few changes with British chef Tom Aikens taking over in 2013, followed by major renovations in 2014, and then closing its doors temporarily in 2020 as a sign of the times. Such is the swiftness of Hong Kong's dynamic food and drink scene.

Before the doors close on the modern European restaurant and bar, The Pawn will be offering an exclusive lunch, dinner and cocktail menu to celebrate. The final dinner tasting menu includes dishes such as fresh burrata cheese with cherry tomatoes and arugula, red prawn linguine aglio e olio, Earl Grey infused local yellow chicken breast, and a classic tiramisu for $720 per person with the option to add a wine pairing of four glasses for $280.

Meanwhile, the chef’s lunch offers up to four courses with a selection of starters, pasta, mains, and desserts to choose from. Highlights include a linguine gamberoni, grilled USDA prime striploin, creamy Spinach cannelloni and more. The bar will also be offering a secret menu on rotation with discount cocktails. On the last weekend (September 9 to 12), there will be 50 percent off selected drinks when you order a bar snack, while stocks last.

So, if you love the modern European concept of The Pawn, now's the time to book yourself a table and enjoy one last meal before the change. Or if you just want to bask in the building's heritage before they close for renovations, make sure you do it soon.

You can also check out our lists of the oldest buildings and structures in Hong Kong and the most beautiful buildings in the city if architecture or history is what you love.

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