FINDING HK’S HIDDEN BARS
In an age where speakeasies are starting to outnumber the regular joints, the novelty is not lost on Hong Kong. There is certainly variety when it comes to hidden joints in HK, with both quiet jazz bars and wild nights on offer. Here are some of the best-hidden places to drink in the city and where to find them.
Disguised as a Chinese stamp shop in Sheung Wan is Mrs Pound, serving up a killer brunch and retro vibes, they wow with their fusion dishes alongside their small but quirky selection of cocktails. The bar itself even comes with its own illustrious love story.
Address: 6 Pound Lane, Sheung Wan
Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday 12pm-11pm, Friday to Saturday 12pm-12am
Opened by the same group behind Mrs Pound is Foxglove. Cleverly disguised as a purveyor of silver handled umbrella, but press the right handle and a secret doorway will reveal itself. You’ll find a bar is decked out like a first-class luxury liner from the 1950s, with VIP booth that resembles first-class train carriages. The go-to spot for a jazz night, Foxglove will keep you entertained all night with their classic cocktails and love music.
Address: G/F, 18 Ice House Street, 6 Duddell Street, Central
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 12pm-3pm and 5pm-1am, Friday 12pm-3:30pm and 5pm-3am, Saturday 5pm-3am
A visit to the doctor’s office has never been so delightful. Hidden behind two clinical office doors at the landmark is a botanical-themed gin joint. With bartenders serving up gin infused cocktails whilst donning lab coats, you’re spoilt for choice with their variety of locally sourced concoctions and gin from all over the globe.
Address: Shop B31A, First Basement Floor, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central
Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday 2pm-1am, Friday to Saturday 2pm-2am, Sunday 2pm-1am
Not for the squeamish, the walls of J. Boroski are covered in spiders, beetles and all sorts of insects. Of course, they aren’t alive but it does provide an eerie feeling to the space. Sitting behind an unmarked door along an alleyway off Hollywood Road, J. Boroski offers that they call a ‘cocktail concierge service’, giving you a list of their spirits and allowing you to order whatever you fancy. Alternatively, you can provide them with a set of flavour profile you enjoy and they’ll make a tailored concoction for you.
Address: 1 Hollywood Road, Central
Opening hours: Sunday to Wednesday 6pm-2am; Thursday to Saturday 6pm-3am
Aptly named as the space used to house a table tennis joint, Ping Pong is now a gin and tonic bar in Sai Ying Pun. With an expansive space hidden behind a bright red door and paddle-shaped window, this one is fairly easy to spot. Neon-lit and plenty of couches to lounge on, they boast an impressive selection of gins to enjoy.
Address: 129 Second Street, L/G Nam Cheong House, Sai Ying Pun
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 6pm-11:30pm
With the sophistication of an old British gentleman’s club, Stockton is brimming with whiskey and live music. Kitted out with leather sofas, mood lighting, and a cigar room, this spot gives off a real Mad Men feel. One of the more popular spots in town, it’s wise to make a reservation ahead of time.
Address: 32 Wyndham Street, Central
Opening hours: Monday to Wednesday 6pm-2am, Thursday to Saturday 6pm-4am
Ding Dong! Concealed behind Wellington Street’s vegetable stalls, you’ll find an unassuming black door and a doorbell. Ust press the doorbell to be led downstairs to the cosy basement bar that is 001. Get comfy in a leather chair and sip on classic cocktails, one of their many whiskies or their signature drink, the Earl Grey martini.
Address: Shop 1, L/F, Welley Building, 97 Wellington Street, Central
Opening hours: Monday 6pm-1am, Tuesday to Thursday 12pm-2am, Friday 6pm-3am, Saturday 7pm-3am
New York’s favourite speakeasy has landed in Hong Kong. A choice for many for their playful atmosphere and signature cocktails, this is the ideal spot to hand with a group of friends and rub shoulders with the rest of the city. There’s even a fortune teller tucked away behind a velvet curtain.
Address: G/F, 19 Lan Kwai Fong, Central
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 6pm-4am
An extravagant place that certainly leaves an impression, Ophelia is inspired by the opium dens of the 19th century and isn’t short on peacock feathers. Behind an exotic bird shop, you will find an exotic space filled with ladies dancing and women swinging in bird cages. Really. Definitely a favourite for those who love the excessive!
Address: 41A, 1/F The Avenue, Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 6pm-2am; Friday to Saturday 6pm-3am
The Old Man sells itself as an Ernest Hemingway-themed bar, but with a distinctly Asian touch added. With an Intimate space, this eclectic speakeasy serves tailor-made cocktails created by the world-famous bartender Agung Prabowo. The bar, which takes its name from Hemingway’s 1952 novel The Old Man and the Sea, about an ageing Cuban fisherman who struggles with the biggest catch of his life, pays tribute to one of American literature’s greatest novelists and his love of a good drink.
Address: LG/F, 37 Aberdeen Street, Central
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 5pm-2am
A cosy bar in the heart of Kennedy Town, Missy Ho serves ‘funky fusion flavours’ like tacos, jalapeno poppers, tuna tataki, and wagyu burgers. With wild decorations that follow no particular theme, it’s a great place to hang with friends but can quickly get crowded.
Address: 48 Forbes Street, Kennedy Town
Opening hours: Daily, 4pm-11pm
Keep your eyes peeled for a nondescript wooden door on Peel Street to find this gem of a whiskey bar. Bathed in candlelight, you’re spoilt for choice with 150 whiskies from all over Japan, Scotland, Taiwan, and more, plus 250 different wines you can indulge in. You certainly won’t be left thirsty.
Address: 35 Peel Street, Central
Opening hours: Daily, 6pm-midnight
A Japanese whisky bar for the books, Bar butler takes you to a discreet building in Tsim Sha Tsui and is tucked away on the fifth and sixth floor. Owned by a friendly Japanese gentleman, with their extensive library of whiskies to try they are more than happy to guide you in the right direction. Reservations are recommended on the weekend.
Address: 30 Mody Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui
Opening hours: Daily, 6:30pm-midnight
Far from modest, Los Sontano describes themselves as ‘the sexiest Mexican underground restaurant and bar in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong”. All you have to do is find the barrel to enter.
A truly Mexican affair, they pour tequilas and mezcal generously, and serve finger-licking tacos and guacamole, in case you wanted to line your stomach!
Address: 21 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong
Opening hours: Daily, 11:30am-2am, until 3am on weekends
With a name like Le Boudoir it’s no surprise that the venue gives off a sensual vibe. Draped in red velvet, chandeliers, art deco mirrors and classical paintings, you can find a nice spot on the sofa or long polished bar. With live jazz and blues on offer, you can kick back with one of their many cocktails or wines.
Address: 65 Wyndham St, Central
Opening hours: Daily, 6pm-11pm