HK Island, Hong Kong

Retro-style Starbucks – looking like a 1950s Hong Kong tea house

Also on Duddell Street is a very peculiar Starbucks coffee shop. From the outside it looks exactly the same like every other Starbucks, but what sets it apart is at the back of the shop.

Half the store is the typical Starbucks design and the other half is crafted to look like a bing sutt (literally “ice house” or “ice chamber”). It is designed in retro style, looking like a 1950’s Hong Kong coffee shop or tea house.

A bing sutt is a type of Hong Kong cafe/diner popularized around 1950 to 1970, highlighting the convergence of East and West. They exist to this day, though in lesser numbers, and have traditionally served Hong Kong versions of Western comfort food as well as iced drinks, coffee, and tea.

The look of the bing sutt is very reminiscent of a ’60s greasy spoon diner in decor, but with the odd Chinese touch here and there, and of course, Chinese lettering instead of English.

The attention to detail is quite impressive: it starts with the small folding chairs in the corner, standing on a typical checkered floor.

Then there are old-school electric switches and adaptors (which are just fake, but look like they could be real). There are a couple of boothes with tables and fake blinds, which seem to face a brick wall and a neon sign; Hong Kong is quite crowed with many high rises.

On the glass tables are old-styled menues, which don’t look like your traditional Starbucks menues. Most of the drinks are the typical Starbucks coffee choices, but on the menu side you can try some egg tarts or pineapple buns.

As you can see in the final picture, this is the half-half Starbucks. The modern part is at the front, and it looks like a normal coffee shop.

Starbucks + Bing Sutt
Shop M2, Mezzanine Floor
Baskerville House
13 Duddell Street, Central

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