With Central's offices emptied as staff worked from home and the bar shutdown, Lan Kwai Fong is no longer the bustling nightlife district. I visited on a Sunday afternoon in late March, expecting people out enjoying an afternoon tea under cooler weather. But what I got were empty streets with the shutters down. As bars could not serve food, some owners questioned why eating the same food in their shop would be any different than a restaurant that is allowed to stay open.
Further uphill, SOHO has also seen business closures, but it was not as dramatic.
However, the district has been declining even before COVID, with greedy landlords increasing rent, messy streets from redevelopment, and 7-11's arrival selling cheap alcohol.