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Dio
Photograph: Courtesy Dio

New bars to try in Hong Kong now

The city’s new drinking spots that should be on your radar

By Tatum Ancheta
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Despite the continued social distancing restrictions banning bars from opening, our favourite drinking spots have adapted in creative ways to continue serving customers, from offering takeaway cocktails and food to collaborating with other venues. Though many well-loved venues have closed permanently, with some bars without catering licenses still temporarily closed, month after month, we still see a slew of fascinating new watering holes that add to the city's drink scene. So, whether you are looking for a new hip cocktail den, a no-frills bar, a cafe-cum-bar, here's a roundup of new places you should hit up to get your drink fix this season. 

We will continue to update this list so you can keep tabs on new openings throughout the year, so bookmark this page! 

RECOMMENDED: Looking for new bites in the city? Check out this list of new restaurants to try in Hong Kong

Recent openings

Heya (へや)  
Heya (へや)  
Photograph: Courtesy Heya (へや)  

Heya (へや)

Bars and pubs Wan Chai

For a no-fuss sake drinking experience, make your way to Wan Chai and knock on the new hidden bar Heya. Heya, which means room in Japanese, is a cosy little nook tucked on the fourth floor of Winner Commercial Building on Lockhart Road. This new 18-seater drinking den serves over 30 labels of sake – which you can order per glass ($50 to $100 per glass; $250/flight of three) or bottle, for dine-in or takeaway – sourced from lesser-known breweries in Japan, along with shochu, whisky, fruit liquor, and Suntory beers on draft ($48/glass). Light bites are available on the menu and it includes a homemade Cantonese soup to warm the stomach. But what's great about the space is you can bring your own food (no extra fee), and co-owner Sean Li will gladly help you pair your food with the right bottle of sake. From our last visit, we enjoyed a box of pizza paired with a 2017 Kakeya Junmai Muroka Nama Genshu ($70/glass; $380 bottle) – an umami sake with subtle notes of ripe apples and spices. You can also order bottles sold at an affordable retail price, and the bar will deliver them to you for free even on single purchases to Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and New Territories.

To reserve a seat or order a bottle of sake, call 3188 9201. Follow them on Heya Hongkong on Instagram for updates.  

Dio, cafe wine bar
Dio, cafe wine bar
Photograph: Courtesy Dio

Dio

Bars and pubs Sheung Wan

Adding to the stream of new coffee shops in the city, Dio is the latest addition to the Kau U Fong neighbourhood. Co-founded by restaurant industry veterans Bar Buonasera bar manager Nick Tse and former Shangri-La Group F&B marketing manager Billy Ha, the venue serves artisan cuppa by day and curated wines and cocktails at night. The coffee shop is backed by the baristas from North Point coffee house Coffee Obsession and utilises beans from local roaster Cotton Mutton. Expect pour-overs of single-origin coffees and espresso-based drinks using the shop exclusive blend of Brazilian and Colombian coffee. The bar serves affordable, refreshing cocktails curated by Nick and a selection of liquor, sake, and wine ($200 to 400), including back vintage wines ($900 to $1200) ranging from the 60s to 90s, which customers can buy to consume on the premises or to takeaway. Drop by for a hot cuppa or grab any of the back vintage bottles while they last. 

 

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Oolong Sour, Hungry Pal
Oolong Sour, Hungry Pal
Photograph: Courtesy Hungry Pal

Hungry Pal

Bars and pubs Soho

Inspired by bars that your high-end restaurant bartenders actually drink and hang out at, this new bar is the kind of place where you go to get quality drinks after a stressful day at work. This new gastropub is created by three culinary industry veterans, Bikal Ghale, Ashok Lama, and Ganga Gurung, who have worked at popular spots like Carbone, Veda, and Buenos Aires Polo Club. Expect dishes like chicken and mushroom pie ($88), and cajun fried chicken ($148 for a half; $280 for a whole), and twists to classic cocktails (starts at $68) like Martinez, Last Word, and highballs, with an addition of their signature tea gimlet called Oolong Sour made with oolong milk tea-infused gin. Other drinks on the menu include beers on tap like Stella Artois and Goose Island IPA, and a wine list focused on Old World wines.  

The Aubrey

Restaurants Central

Sitting on the 25th floor of Mandarin Oriental is the The Aubrey, the latest dining concept from the group behind popular Hong Kong restaurants such as Mott 32 and Limewood. The venue features three different bar experiences in which guests will enjoy Japanese craft cocktails, Japanese whiskies, and of course, Japanese cuisine. Heading The Aubrey's bar programme is popular local mixologist Devender Sehgal, formerly the bar manager at Otto e Mezzo Bombana. Expect a core selection of highballs and a chuhai cocktail menu – a rotating selection of three seasonal cocktails using a singular Japanese ingredient – at The Main Bar. Guests can elevate their drinking experience at the four-person Omakase Cocktail Bar where the talented bar team at The Aubrey will take guests on a unique drinks journey using Japanese spirits and flavours. If you have a penchant for Champagne or sake, head over to the third bar serving exactly that, plus oysters on the side including a selection of sake sparklers. 

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Tankyu Distillery
Tankyu Distillery
Photograph: Courtesy Tankyu Distillery

Tankyu Distillery

Bars and pubs Tsuen Wan

If you’re looking to check out a new cafe and bar concept, head to The Mills in Tsuen Wan and grab a few drinks at local gin Perfume Trees’s new drinking den. The new venue opened in early February as a tasting room where guests can sample and learn more about the local craft gin. Aside from gin, the venue also serves a range of cocktails featuring creative uses of Perfume Trees, coffee, and tea crafted by Perfume Trees Gin co-founder Kit Cheung together with bartenders Fei Lee (former bartender of Bar Buonasera) and Mandy Mok (first runner-up of HK Brewers Cup Championship and Hong Kong Coffee in Good Spirits Championship). Those who have a penchant for CBD can also try the venue’s CBD-infused coffees and alcoholic mixes. The tasting room is also serving omakase cocktails so you can drop by and tell the bartenders your drink preferences, and they’ll whip it up for you. Be sure to catch Tankyu Distillery’s regular tasting workshops running from Mondays to Sundays. 

The Last Resort

Bars and pubs Soho

The Last Resort is something between a dive, back-alley, or roadside bar – except friendlier, made for those who've had a tough day and need to see a friendly face, or drown their sorrows. Inspired by gritty roadside pit stops and rural small-town drinking, the bar offers a wallet-friendly menu with  approachable and straightforward drinks reminiscent of your college days. Expect beers ($40 to $50), wine ($40/glass, $180/bottle), and servings of cocktails that include whiskey apple, bourbon Coke, rum sour, vodka cranberry, Margarita, and Long Island Iced Tea (all at $50/serving). 

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Lucciola restaurant & bar
Lucciola restaurant & bar
Photograph: Courtesy Lucciola

Lucciola

Restaurants Italian Wan Chai

One of The Hari hotel’s newest F&B facilities, Lucciola, is a restaurant and bar offering reinvented Italian culinary classics headed by executive chef Francesco Gava. Aside from sumptuous Italian cuisine, Lucciola offers a selection of aged liquor served from the bar’s digestif trolley and a range of classic cocktails like Martini, Manhattan, Negroni (all $98), spritz such as Bellini and Rossini ($108), and sours like Il Tano ($108) made with gin, grapefruit oleo saccharum, rosemary, lemon juice, and olive brine, and Napoleone ($108) made with Italicus di Bergamotto, orange, lemon juice, sage, and pasteurised egg white. For wine lovers, the venue also offers wine by the glass or bottle from Italy and other parts of the world. 

Cassio
Cassio
Photograph: Courtesy Cassio/Skylight GPD

Cassio

Restaurants Spanish Lan Kwai Fong

If you haven’t been out and about, you’ve probably missed the hip new look of Lan Kwai Fong hotspot Cassio. So if you’re planning to grab some drinks with your friends soon, head out to Cassio and check out its new interior designed by Daft Punk's former creative director Cédric Hervet, and his cousin, Nicolas Hervet. The old dining area is now replaced by a 1970s sci-fi-inspired chic lounge in custom-made furniture and new light fixtures, with a swanky spaceship-like DJ booth at the centre. The artworks displayed on the walls come from the personal collection of Cassio owner Gilbert Yeung and features drawings created by Japanese graphic artist Naijel Graph who designed the Cassio logo. For guests opting for a more exclusive spot, they can book the two VIP tables called Tony and Montana, which accesses a secret room with a private bar exclusively serving the VIP spot. Expect Spanish tapas and craft cocktails from the bar programme that includes new signature drinks Scarface ($130) made with bourbon fat-washed with white truffle oil, honey, lemon, black walnut bitter, and Mango Fuego ($130) made with mezcal, mango, citrus, chilli, and simple syrup. 

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Bar de Luxe (H Code)
Bar de Luxe (H Code)
Photograph: Courtesy Bar De Luxe/Calvin Sit

Bar de Luxe (H Code)

Bars and pubs Central

Japanese cocktail hotspot Bar De Luxe has moved from the 30th floor of Asia Pacific Centre to their new H Code location in Pottinger Street. Known for its authentic Ginza flavour and experience, the bar was brought to Hong Kong in 2017 by legendary bartender Hidetsugu Ueno, founder of the famous Tokyo bar Bar High Five. The new venue now sits on a 1700sq ft spot which is bigger than their old space and can fit 120 guests (standing)The bar's new setup highlights a striking ceiling and lighting fixture inspired by the skeleton of Japanese oil-paper umbrellas called wagasa, an essential accessory for Japanese tea ceremony and kabuki theatre. Mixologist Ivin Hui travelled all the way to Japan to train under Mr Ueno's guidance and is now heading the team of bartenders in Bar de Luxe. The menu, which is the highlight of the bar, still carries cocktails created from the same meticulous Japanese mixology that Bar de Luxe guests have been used to. 

In case you missed these

The Madhouse CWB
The Madhouse CWB
Photograph: Courtesy The Madhouse CWB

The Madhouse CWB

Bars and pubs Causeway Bay

Mong Kok's The Madhouse Taproom – a beer bar offering 20 draft taps of craft beers and a bottle selection from around the world – branched out to Causeway Bay with the opening of their new taproom, The Madhouse CWB, decked in a Carnival themed interior design. The new beer den is offering a variety of limited-edition dessert dark beer – available in Asia for the first time – from the Amundsen Bryggeri winery from Oslo, Norway. Grab any of Amundsen's Dessert in a Can beers or enjoy a draft beer on the tap which includes a Rocky Road Ice Cream, Blueberry Pancake, and Neapolitan Ice Cream. For beer lovers with a penchant for whisky, you can indulge in Bourbon Aged Whiskey in Barrel Dark Beers available in three different flavours – rocky road ice cream, sea salted caramel chocolate chip cookies, and peanut butter caramel crisp jam doughnut.

Penicillin
Penicillin
Photograph: Courtesy Penicillin

Penicillin

Bars and pubs Central

Bar veterans and founders of The Old Man Agung Prabowo and Roman Ghale have finally opened the highly-anticipated Penicillin in Central. Touted as the first eco-conscious bar in Hong Kong, the cocktail menu, titled You Gotta Sustain it, is divided into three sections and focuses on locally sourced or upcycled ingredients and stays as authentic as possible to the flavours of Hong Kong. The menu includes a Penicillin section highlighting a series of drinks inspired by the original Penicillin cocktail, offering cocktails like Something Clear ($90) – infused with goat's milk whiskey, clarified citrus, ginger honey wine, and a smoky flame – and Foraged and Found ($90) – made with locally foraged ingredients such as wild oregano and gooseberry. For the more adventurous, there's an On-and-Off section, a rotating selection of cocktails made with seasonal local farm produce and ingredients. The last part of the menu offers non-alcoholic Organic Ferments, which highlights Penicillin's selection of fermented ingredients. 

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Dead &
Dead &
Photograph: Kevin Mak

Dead &

Bars and pubs Lan Kwai Fong

Dead & (pronounced "dead end") is the latest bar co-venture by bar industry veteran's Agung Prabowo and Roman Ghale. Located at the end of Wo On Lane in Lan Kwai Fong, the new watering hole is a traditional dive bar offering affordable drinks and a party vibe that can spill out onto the streets of LKF and to the amphitheatre next door. According to Agung, the bar aims to compete with 'club 7-Eleven' more than the bars in the surrounding area as cheap booze is good at attracting hordes of Hongkongers to LKF.  

Honky Tonks Tavern
Honky Tonks Tavern
Photograph: Courtesy Honky Tonks Tavern

Honky Tonks Tavern

Restaurants Central

Honky Tonks Tavern is a restaurant, wine and cocktail bar from the group behind Shady Acres with Ryan Nightingale and Mike Watt. Taking over Les Fils à Maman's former location in Man Hing Lane, Honky Tonks Tavern is backed by familiar fixtures from the F&B scene. Behind the bar is Edgarito Santillan (formerly Terrible Baby) and Adam Schmidt (formerly PDT), while chef Andrew Mast (formerly Chinched, Newfoundland, Canada) is in the kitchen, with Matt Richardson (formerly Ho Lee Fook and Aaharn) managing the front of the house.

Expect servings of Nashville hot chicken, non-classic thin pizzas, and a variety of nostalgic American grub that can be paired with Australian natural lo-fi wines. For easy-breezy, happy hours, the cocktail programme will include long drinks, spritzes, and highballs that people can enjoy at the large u-shaped bar. 



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The Ale Project (TAP)
The Ale Project (TAP)
Photograph: Courtesy TAP - The Ale Project

TAP - The Ale Project (Mong Kok)

Bars and pubs Craft beer pubs Mong Kok

After closing down their original venue last September, Tap - The Ale Project reopened their taproom just two doors down from its previous location, on Hak Po Street in Mong Kok. The new taproom, which is no so different from the previous Tap, offers casual vibes with 18 craft beer taps to choose from, as well as a revamped food menu that includes new dishes and fan favourites from the past. The new interior remains stripped back to better showcase the beer taps themselves and feature everything from locally brewed beers to experimental beers fermented with a cocktail of wild yeasts.

Boticario
Boticario
Photograph: @boticariohk

Boticario

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Tsim Sha Tsui East

Located in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui East's waterfront, Boticario aims to transport cocktail lovers to 1920s Buenos Aires, a time when Argentina was one of the wealthiest countries in the world. This new cocktail den features a two-level cocktail bar and grill with both indoor and al fresco seating. Staying true to the theme, the bar's cocktail menu combines the herbal healing traditions of South America's pharmacies with the timeless heritage of spirit botanicals while the food on offer showcases Mediterranean and Latin dishes. Expect a menu of craft spirits and drinks made with homemade sodas, phosphates (citrus substitute), tonics, tinctures, and infusions. 

Temporarily closed

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Superhooman
Superhooman
Photograph: Courtesy Superhooman

Superhooman

Bars and pubs Café bars Tin Hau

Enjoy coffee by day and cocktails by night at Tin Hau's newly-opened cafe and bar Superhooman. Located next to boutique hotel Tuve, this new hangout spot features a pan-Asian food menu and craft cocktails created by consulting bartender Shelley Tai (bar manager of Singapore bar Nutmeg & Clove). The cocktail programme offers eight signature drinks ($118/order) three of which are served on draught. Cocktails include a riff on a classic espresso martini, Superhooman Espressotini, a herbal sour Wake-Up-Call, and a fruity take on the classic aperitif, Rhubarb Negroni. 

Avenue75 Bar & Eatery
Avenue75 Bar & Eatery
Photograph: Courtesy Avenue75 Bar & Eatery

Avenue 75 Bar and Eatery

Bars and pubs Tsim Sha Tsui East

Another recent opening joining the lineup of bars in Tsim Sha Tsui East is Avenue 75, an intimate cocktail bar and restaurant serving Asian-inspired tapas and craft cocktails. Helmed by bartender Shane Siu – who is also the creative mind and hands behind the venue's wall paintings – the cocktail programme takes inspirations from the famous artworks of masters such as French artist Paul Cézanne, Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, and Russian avant-garde artist Kazimir Severinovich Malevich. Sample cocktails like the pandan-flavoured Diamond Black, coffee-laced Poker Soul, and creamy concoction See My Pearl, among others.  

Drink with a view

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