% Arabica has many stores across Hong Kong, but our favorite would have to be the Sheung Wan shop, which can be found across the gate from the PMQ art center. The brand did a solid job of matching their exterior design with the area and surroundings without having to sacrifice a very well known brand identity.
The cafe is beautiful, with giant windows and a terrace facing towards the art center’s courtyard across the small, two lane street. A vertical garden covers much of the rest of the facade which seems to converse with the other greenery in the area. This is a good example of a global chain brand having some sense of localization and having an awareness of their position in a greater space. But there is no doubt that this is still a % Arabica coffee shop, design wise and concept wise. It’s a place where people flock to because of the aesthetics and the kind of coffee they’ve grown to be accustomed to drinking at any of the brand’s chain of shops and take out counters. Even with their global branding standards on hand they’ve managed to incorporate and match their design with this very artistic street in Hong Kong and they’ve successfully found a way to compliment the vibe of the location. Doesn’t it seem like a great place to sketch in your journal or write a little bit of poetry?