The downfall of a Hong Kong bagel queen

Posted by Ed 5 mths ago

When customers arrived at Mendel’s Delicatessen, a café in Hong Kong’s upmarket Kennedy Town neighbourhood, early last month for their morning bagel and coffee, they were surprised to find two large, black-clad men standing out front.


In a video from the scene, as the men blocked the entrance, staff could be heard saying the shop was open, even as another woman told curious passersby, “You don’t want to come here, it’s a situation.”


That situation gripped Hong Kong’s bagel-obsessed expat community, and turned the woman at the heart of it, Rebecca Schrage, into something like public enemy No. 1. Her story shows the dangers of letting a private business dispute play out in public, and how hard it can be to control a narrative once it has run away from you.


In an Instagram post on June 11, following several days of disruptions, Mendel’s said, “Security has been hired by another party to verbally and physically prevent guests and the Mendel’s team from entering the premise, and create crippling disruption such as turning off the main power.”


While Mendel’s did not name Ms. Schrage, she was easily identifiable in videos posted online. With little information available, people soon took to social media with their own theories, many accusing Ms. Schrage of trying to shut down a competitor for her Schragels Bagels business.

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