Little eateries find room to move as optimism grows

It’s the little things that are getting Michelle Fong excited about moving her Japanese restaurant, Ocha, to a bigger venue. An indoor toilet, for example, after 15 years of having to ask diners to use a backyard loo. Not to mention the much larger kitchen, and some space for customers to stretch their legs.

“The move is a bit of a thanks to our customers,” says Fong. “We’d like to offer them the same old Ocha with a bit more comfort, a bit more legroom.”

The expansion of this little eatery represents a wider trend in the city’s evolving restaurant scene — owners are growing confident about the economy, so often places are getting bigger to keep up with overheads and expand slim profit margins.

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