Customers support Junels Bar as it faces eviction

This year is the 10th anniversary of Junels Restobar, a Filipino karaoke bar and restaurant in Sai Ying Pun that is a neighborhood favorite. But instead of celebrating, Julia Mangrobang is fighting to keep her business alive.

Earlier this year, Mangrobang learned that she was being evicted in preparation for the building’s planned demolition. Unable to start Junels again from scratch, she thought she would have to return to the Philippines. Now she hopes to open Junels in a new location, with help from her devoted customers.

Mangrobang first came to Hong Kong in 1984 as a domestic helper. Over the years, she also worked at various bars and high-end hotel spas.

She was living above a long-empty retail space in an alley off Water Street, and her landlord encouraged her to start her own business there. Mangrobang put all the money she had into opening Junels, waiting anxiously for three years to turn a profit.