Historic shophouses turned into a cultural hub
Carved out of 10 pre-World War II tenement houses built around 1910, 7 Mallory Street is an example of what can be achieved when heritage is conserved and adapted for a new use. Five of the tenements are now transformed into galleries and exhibition spaces. The original roof tiles and wooden beams have been preserved, along with the balconies. The other five tenements were hollowed out to create a public gathering space. The tenements’ original architecture is a blend of Western and Chinese elements that was typical of prewar Hong Kong.
Former comix home base
In 2013 the cluster of shophouses was transformed into a comix home base, which was home to a library, gallery and event space dedicated to HK’s comics scene. Unfortunately, the base withdrew from the building in 2018 due to operating difficulties. If you are a devotee of graphic novels, you can still visit their new exhibition hall at the Hong Kong Art Centre nowadays.
Oi Kwan Barber Shop
For over 50 years Oi Kwan has been operated by the Lau family and they provide old-fashioned Cantonese street barbering with original chairs, mirrors and scissors. Located on the ground floor of the building, come to the new branch for a shave (HK$70), or a trim (HK$80), but don’t expect fancy colouring or blow-dries.
Hong Kong-style snack
豪華咖啡茶廳 Ho Wah Restaurant, located a few shops next to Oi Kwan Barber Shop, is a quintessential ‘cha chaan teng’ (Hong Kong-style café) with typical fare including noodle soups and sandwiches.