The acquisition of Steamers by the Enoteca Group will be finalised in the coming week, Enoteca Managing Director Kim Minards said. Terms of the agreement satisfactory to both sides have been reached and are now circulating with Steamers shareholders, some of whom live overseas. “Actual money will change hands early in August,” Kim said. Steamers will close in the middle of August and reopen a month to six weeks later as a “gastropub”. Renovation will be total, Kim said. It is going to be “very pubby and gardeny.” The Steamers name may go. The new name could be The Botanist.
The Enoteca Group is already established in Sai Kung with The Conservatory in the central square. Kim said the new pub on the Steamers site will be more sophisticated than Sai Kung has seen so far. There is a yearning in the community for more up-market places. The pub will be more food focused and family friendly. Kim said her husband, Robert Cooper, has strong ideas about decor for the new pub and Enoteca’s usual contractor, Trio, will carry them out. She hopes they can create more of a beer-garden feel in the outside area, although the licensed space is limited.
A meeting was held with Steamers staff last week to reassure them, Kim said. “They are calmer since we chatted to them. We will keep everyone we can.”
The Botanist or whatever it is finally called will be Enoteca’s ninth restaurant. Started by Kim and Robert in 2005, it has restaurants called Enoteca in Soho and Quarry Bay, Iberico & Co in Soho and Yoho plus others named The Parish, The Phoenix and Cicada. Kim and Robert are residents of Chan Uk, Clearwater Bay.