Mention Stone Nullah Lane, and the eponymous American eatery that sits at the street’s entrance probably comes to mind. But there’s plenty more history behind this unassuming Wan Chai backstreet.
At the time of the First Opium War (1841), while Hong Kong was under British occupation, Stone Nullah Lane was actually a water channel made of stone (or possibly concrete). This water channel — or nullah, as it was then known — ferried stream water from the top of Victoria Peak and emptied it into the Victoria Harbour below Wan Chai. This was, of course, long before the land reclamation that turned this area from a waterway into a bustling neighborhood.
During the 20th century, when the nullah had been turned into a street, shops specializing in the processing of soybeans began to spring up here. However, when residents began to complain about the rancid smells, the shops were forced to move out.
The nullah was eventually concreted over in 1959, but the stream that lent its name to the street remains underground.