Poplar St - Cheung Sha Wan Road - SW Corner (1960) | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Poplar St - Cheung Sha Wan Road - SW Corner (1960)

Poplar St - Cheung Sha Wan Road - SW Corner (1960)
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Poplar Street and Cheung Sha Wan Road, looking north (1960).

Kopak Cafe 紅棉餐廳 was on the west side of Poplar south of Cheung Sha Wan Road. I don’t remember if it had an English sign so cafe is assumed given the small space inside. It was I believe more famous for its bakery products. You can select your loaf of bread, and the man slices it for you using a electric slicer and pushing the small platform back and forth. Here, I bought 車輪包 my favourite in mid-1950s.

The next several years I stopped walking this way. In early 1960s when I walked this way again, they have renovated the front with a new sign panel above head (shown in this photo).

I wonder if these shops on Poplar had their addresses listed on Poplar Street. The current Geoinfo Map lumps all the places into one Cheung Fung Commercial Building on Cheung Sha Wan. Reader tkjho reminded me of Kopak’s neighbour the mid-wife clinic where he was born (and my younger brother also) in the early 1950s. I remember walking up one level of stairs from Cheung Sha Wan to visit my mother so the clinic must be the corner unit above Kopak in this photo. I have no information when the clinic closed.

Photo source: unknown

Comments

Hi Peter,

The midwife 萬's street sign can be seen on the left edge, it was on the 3rd level. I vaguely remember this "new" bakery facade, vividly recall the old one with a revolving door. The loaves were 4 lbs each and sliced to order (?$0.25/lb) with the electric meat slicer on the spot when you bought it. The bakery's owner occasionally hung out at my dad's shop in the evening, probably when the bakery's business was slow.

Hi tkjho, thanks for the feedback.  After my parents passed away, I sort out their collection of papers and one of them was a birth note (of my brother) issued by the midwife clinic with their Cheung Sha Wan Road address.  Since you lived just around the corner, you can confirm where their staircase was; my memory of climbing its stairs tells me it was on Cheung Sha Wan Road.  4-pound bread, that's heavy compared to what I buy now!

I am sure your father also spent time at another cafe about three shops from the playground - 嶺南餐室.  At about (same, south side) mid-block on Cheung Sha Wan was a fairly new grocery store selling mainland products.  I was making my daily venture when I saw looters emptying the shop.  That was the second day of the 1956 riot.  Regards,  Peter

I think the staircase is between Kopak and Dragon Phoenix Banquet Specialist, right where the midwife's sign is in the photo, and shared by the 2 buildings. As for the big loaf, you could buy a minimum of 0.5lb.

Thanks tkjho for the clarification.  I remember that catering shop.  There was also one near my home.  They did not have much of a display.  But when they showed up, at a shophouse roof top an example, they brought along all ingredients, woks and pots, stoves and wood, dishes, the cook and his helper.   Some had the term "all arranged/inclusive" as part of their name. Regards,  Peter 

There was a banquet catering service 大三元 at 3 or 5 Yu Chow St., about 5 doors down from my uncles' firewood/charcoal shop. My uncles used them for their birthday banquets 2 times a year, with 2 tables at my uncles' and another 1 or 2 tables at the caterer's. They would do the cooking at their premise and brought them over. A few of these old fashioned catering services still remain. A 大來 from YMT catered an event for about 300 at my alma mater Maryknoll Fathers' School a few years ago, to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the priesthood of a Father. 

Roast suckling pig
Roast suckling pig, by tkjho
Old fashioned banquet catering company
Old fashioned banquet catering company, by tkjho