If you went along to UST last Saturday and tried to get in to the Sandwich Club Coffee Shop, you’d have to have waited for a very long time. The place was jammed. And all because the place is closing today, 25 May, at 6:00 pm. It seems many alumni took the opportunity to have one last coffee, pastry or even Indian curry to wave goodbye to this perennial favourite.
Over the weekend, and into this week, social media sites associated with the university have been abuzz with stories, photos and reminiscences about the twenty year old eating and meeting place. Situated in the main lecture theatre block and concourse, it was not only the convenient position that attracted clientele but also the food. As with Sandwich Club Coffee Shops in other universities, it was the range of Asian food on offer, along with local dishes, that attracted a very mixed crowd of students and staff, as well as many local people from the nearby villages.
The demise of the Coffee Shop was announced by UST management in a message sent to staff and students some weeks ago. It stated “The current Concourse cafe will cease to operate on 25 May 2018 after 6:00 pm. Renovation works will start soon and will be in two phases. The first phase covers the renovation of the outlet and the Courtyard next to it and the relocation of two nearby classrooms. The second phase will be works on building two new outlets under the overhang in the Courtyard. This is a major project of the University’s Catering Master Plan aiming to add value to the catering and social experience of the University community as well as to solve the current congestion and housekeeping issues in the cafe area”.
The message went on to say that after 6 months refurbishment a new coffee shop, to be run by operator “Passion” serving a variety of “freshly baked bread, French pastry, pasta and lasagna, sandwiches, salads, pizzas, desserts and coffee and drinks”.
The management are also proposing two new outlets in the adjacent courtyard, but these won’t be ready until Q3 2019! One will be a Korean snack bar, the other, at the time of writing, an American Diner, to be run by The Sandwich Club. This will be similar to the one at Polytechnic University, serving American style fast food.
However, all is not lost for those wanting to support The Sandwich Club after its loss. They also run the UC Restaurant and Bar in the University Centre, down by the bay, which has recently reopened after a major refurbishment.
The Sandwich Club has a number of other outlets at academic institutions in Hong Kong:
- Coffee Shop, Lee Wai Chung Building, Western & Indian food, self service, established 2001.
- Coffee Cart at Lee Shau Kee Building, drinks & snacks, self service, established 2013.
- Z Canteen and Coffee Shop, Z Building, established Aug 2016.
- American Diner, Central Campus by J/K Buildings established 2014.
Shek Mun Campus Coffee Shop – Sept 2018
The company also have a Central Kitchen in Tsuen Wan, which consists of food factory, Western, Chinese and Indian food, established in 2013, with 12 staff.; and the Bistro Bistro Function Catering, also in Tsuen Wan, which concentrates on Outside Catering, Western, Chinese, Asian and Indian food, established in 2000, with 10 staff.