When Hins Cheung announced last year that he was bringing back the pioneering 1960s restaurant Juno – relocated and renamed Junon – 30-plus years after it closed, the town went mad. Then, just one year later, Cheung revealed he was working on another restaurant project – The Crown. Both projects feature fine dining to the backdrop of live music performances, but to call the 38-year-old Cantopop heartthrob a music enthusiast would be putting it mildly. “I love music dearly and have always had a passion for interior design. My mother has been in the F&B business since the ’80s, so it’s almost obligatory for me to put breathtaking music, food and visuals together.”
Breathtaking indeed. “When I first visited the location [for The Crown], it took my breath away. The place is like an oasis in a concrete jungle. Not many restaurants come with a 270-degree city view.” When the chairman of Emperor Group Albert Yeung gave Cheung the green light to be The Crown’s creative director, he simply couldn’t hide his excitement. But with limited space, he’s more cautious with the design. “I wanted to differentiate it from Junon’s Victorian design style, so after careful consideration we went with modern art-deco style for the interior. If you look closely, you’ll notice the space is filled with customised pieces. From the marble wall behind the bar to the ceiling and from the mirrors to the glass walls, everything is handcrafted.”
The location, on the top floor of the Emperor Hotel on Queen’s Road East, brings its own perks and problems. “The team experienced countless logistical difficulties while putting everything together, but it’s worth it as long as we can provide an intimate and worry-free environment for our customers.” Thanks to Cheung, The Crown stands out from the rest with its absence of social hierarchy.
“My fans get to mingle with normally unreachable crowds and have a great time. Not many people get to have a drink with Mr Yeung on a random Tuesday night.”
Cheung’s new role as restaurateur has already created its share of cherished memories. “An elderly gentleman came to Junon for lunch on four consecutive days, and I couldn’t help but ask what brought him to our restaurant,” he recalls. Turns out he used to have romantic nights with his late wife at Juno when it was still on Nathan Road, so it’s become a habit for him to revisit. “Trends don’t last forever, but memories do.”
Given his career as a singer, songwriter and even actor, music has always been a big part of Cheung’s life, so guests can expect mind-blowing performances by the artists at The Crown, such as an art-deco/swing remix of “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé. “One of the performers, Olga, is actually a playgroup teacher who takes toddlers to Ocean Park for tours,” he says. “Talent is all around us; you just need to pay attention.”
Outfit: Cheung’s own | Location: The Crown