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The Next Shore Thing

Having established a successful track record in opening many venues as group operations director of a restaurant group in Hong Kong, Mark Cholewka formed his own business, Shore Hospitality, in 2010. In just six years, his company has developed three highly successful restaurant concepts with five outlets around town, and hires almost 100 staff. More new concepts are coming up this year

A chef by training, Cholewka has been developing restaurant concepts based on both personal taste and business acumen. He started with his flagship steak and seafood restaurant, Shore, based on memories of growing up in a cottage on the lake in Canada and leisure time spent by the river and the sea. His Western pork concept, Salted Pig, has quickly expanded to three locations in Tsim Sha Tsui, Sai Wan Ho and Lai Chi Kok.

The Next Shore Thing

“The obvious thing when it comes to making a business is you’ve got to attend to the majority of the population. We figured there hadn’t been a Western pork concept here in Hong Kong, so we decided it was something new, and would fit the appetite and the price point of the majority,” he said.

Salted Pig’s dishes are designed for sharing, which is in line with the local culture. The same serving style is also followed at Cull N’ Pistol, one of Cholewka’s latest openings along the waterfront of Sai Wan Ho, known to some as SoHo East. Very aptly, the menu features New England-style seafood dishes.

Cholewka thinks that locally developed restaurant concepts are on a par with those opened in Hong Kong in recent years by international names such as Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and Mario Batali.

“I am a Hong Kong, home-grown type of business operator, and I like starting my plans here. People are open to new dining concepts and getting a license is relatively fast and simple. There are a lot of people doing the same, and the quality and consistency can be exactly the same as someone coming in from the UK, Australia or wherever it may be,” he said.

Together with business partner Cathal Kiely, Cholewka is keeping himself, and their staff, busy. Their latest projects include Halcyon, an upscale coffee lounge by day and private members’ club by night, and Poke Company, a chain of fast-casual restaurants serving Hawaiian fish salads. He is in the process of hiring 45 new staff.

Cholewka has also started another company that serves as an incubator of restaurant startups, offering fledgling restaurateurs financing, backend support and mentorship.

Invest Hong Kong has been supporting Shore Hospitality by providing marketplace intelligence and information about potential new sites for restaurants.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

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Fast Facts

  • Founded in 2010 and having developed three highly successful concepts with five restaurant locations in Hong Kong
  • With more concepts in the pipeline and looking to hire 45 more staff

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