Hong Kong’s nightlife scene is all about the newest and coolest thing, with new watering holes opening at breakneck pace. But do they all measure up? Take a look at a few of our favorite Hong Kong bars so far in 2016.
The name ain’t all that original but food, drink and decor are pretty on point. SoHo newcomer 65 Peel takes up a spacious spot that had been sitting empty for years, serving up a dozen locally brewed craft beers accompanied by small seafood dishes and savory nibbles. The industrial chic aesthetic works well with a neon signage (it reads “gweilo Chinese herbal tea” and doors designed like old-fashioned Hong Kong windows you might find on dilapidated tenement buildings.
Why we like it: As supporters of locally brewed beers of genuinely great quality, we love that 65 Peel brings them together in this casual, not-too-try-hard setting.
65 Peel Street, Central, 2342-2224.
We had no idea the Hollywood Road shopfront formerly occupied by Spanish restaurant Tapeo was so spacious until Brewdog took it over. This two-story beer heaven marks the 45th namesake bar opened by the Scottish brewery. Expect to find all of the usual suspects here — local brews, and big international names — and obviously, Brewdog’s very own beers on tap. The signature Punk IPA ($60) is a popular pick.
Why we like it: The craft beer movement is not going away any time soon — and we’re glad to have Brewdog join the fray.
19 Hollywood Road, Central, 2219-9905.
Every cool new hipster bar worth its salt these days have to have some sort of a secret entryway, complete with a romantic, fictional story of the premises. We’re talking about Foxglove, of course, which is opened by the same team behind Mrs. Pound in Sheung Wan. Foxglove’s entrance is disguised with an old school umbrella shop, leading into a speakeasy modeled after first-class airplane cabins of yesteryear. There’s a VIP room, designed like a posh train carriage, too. Beautiful interiors aside, you’ll find traditional cocktails and prohibition-era creations made with cognacs, spirits and whiskies.
Why we like it: The concept is cool and fun, with a touch of glamour.
2/F, Printing House, 6 Duddell Street, Central, 2116-8949.
Here’s a new bar that both financiers and hipsters will find exciting: Wolf Market, a brand new “stock market” bar. It’s pretty much what it sounds like — drink prices fluctuate with supply and demand, so if a drink is hot commodity, its price goes up. Meanwhile, the cost of drink goes down if isn’t receiving too many orders. Can’t keep track? There’s an LED screen front and center at the bar, showing the current drink prices.
Why we like it: The concept, while unusual, is simple enough, but it’s the potential to get drinks on the cheap that sets our pulses racing.
UG-1/F, The Plaza, 21 D’Aguilar Street, Central, 2530-9622.
The team behind Djiboutii just opened up new venture Deligator, a Cuban joint bringing a touch of Havana to Hong Kong. Expect the classics (mojitos, daiquiris) and delectable American-style and south-of-the-border-inspired sandwiches in a cool urban space.
Why we like it: The bar counter is made of glass, and filled with sand and all kinds of cool knickknacks which could help you out if conversation starts to flail.
Shop G, 2 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, 3708-8508.
Legendary Bali hotspot Potato Head Beach Club is opening up an outpost right here in Hong Kong in June. Taking up a sprawling space on Third Street in Sai Ying Pun, Potato Head will serve Balinese cocktails alongside Indonesian dishes. Granted, it’s not quite on the beach, but we have high hopes that this new joint will recreate those tropical island vibes.
100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, 2858-3036
We also hear that Perth’s craft beer darling Little Creatures is setting up shop in Kennedy Town ahead of summer. Said to be taking over a huge space next to Kinsale — we’ll let you know when we’ve got all the details!
Stay tuned with The Loop’s ever-growing list of bars and restaurants, ordered by opening date so the hottest new spots show up on top.