Four thugs believed to have ties to China attacked a restaurant in northern Hong Kong on Thursday. The outlet is known for its support of the city’s pro-democracy demonstrators.
Coconuts Hong Kong reports that Lung Mun Cafe in Hung Hom, Kowloon, was popular among pro-democracy demonstrators, handing them out free meals and placing posters supportive of their cause. Its support for the protests has led it to be labeled as a “yellow business” supportive of the anti-China demonstrations, as opposed to a “blue business” which backs Beijing.
According to local outlet Ming Pao, the vandalism took place at about 5 a.m. on Thursday morning while staff members were preparing food for the morning rush. On arrival, the four men stormed into the restaurant and began overturning tables, breaking crockery, seizing the restaurant’s cash register, and smashing windows with metal bars before fleeing the scene.
Videos posted on social media following the incident showed members of staff assessing the damage and attempting to clean up the mess by the thugs.
The restaurant’s owner remained undeterred, posting on Facebook that they would be resuming business as normal.
“There may be a few delays in our service, and we will switch to handwritten orders. I hope you don’t mind,” he wrote on Facebook. “Thank you all for your efforts and support. The shop has been cleaned up and business will be resuming as normal.”
Local outlets reported that after hearing about the vandalism, dozens of people lined up outside the restaurant to eat there and help them get back up and running.
“Lots of people keep complaining that protesters are vandalizing certain business, yet some people have just gone on to do exactly that,” one individual standing in the queue named Wan told Apple Daily.
Last week, the restaurant’s manager was featured in a viral video pleading with a woman supportive of Beijing to leave the establishment after she got into a vicious argument with pro-democracy supporters.
“I’m the boss of this restaurant and I’m begging you; I don’t want your business, please leave,” he says in the video.
“If you don’t leave now, I’ll let everyone in this restaurant eat for free,” he adds. “I don’t want your business, I don’t want to take your money, it’s that simple.”
Hong Kong has been rocked by widespread protests since June after the city’s China-controlled legislature proposed a bill that would have given Beijing the power to extradite its citizens to China. CEO Carrie Lam has since promised to scrap the bill, although the protests have expanded into a wider pushback against Chinese communism and police brutality.