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This new café used to be an 86-year-old Chinese medicine shop

Written by
Dorothy So

New coffee shop Tai Wo Tang has just opened on Nga Tsin Long Road in Kowloon City. If the name and space feel familiar, it’s because it’s both are taken from the site’s former tenant – the famed Tai Wo Tang traditional Chinese medicine shop. Opened in 1932 on the ground floor of a tong lau tenement building, the store was known for its old-school apothecary aesthetic, complete with shelves of glass jars, wooden medicine cabinets and a rickety ceiling fan.

Even the coffee machine has been outfitted to fit the store's old-school aesthetic

The TCM shop shuttered its doors earlier this year following the passing of its medicine practitioner. In an effort to preserve the legacy of the store, it’s since been converted into a café and casual eatery with most of the original furnishings and décor – including its iconic gold signage – kept intact. 

The menu is contemporary western with items like cold-brew coffee and avocado toast. Juxtaposing the near-century-old setting with a celebration of contemporary local culture, this is one of the coolest new cafés to check out right now.

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