For a few years now, the area around Gough Street has been hailed as the emerging hip and sexy place to be – the next big thing in our eating and dining scene. But with almost as many closures as openings in recent times, the area that’s come to be known as NoHo, hasn’t quite lived up to those expectations, particularly on the drinking side. Now, a new bar is breathing some meandering momentum to these slopes.
Like most of the bars in the area, Stroll has a refined yet casual air about it, a concept which, according to its website, it’s setting out to do. “We’re saying to the community: come out and have some fun. Take a leisurely walk in the park, spend the afternoon in a café, shop for some sexy new underwear and come have a drink with us,” are some of the wise words on strollbar.com. It’s an inviting image and one that, with its peaceful change-of-pace setting on the characterful Mee Lun Street, it’s well placed to deliver.
Large glass panes front the uneven steps of the street, circular high-standing glass tables feature at the front and the rear, candles and diminutive lanterns provide sparse lighting, an aquarium provides some marine-delights in the back corner, and smooth, jazz and funky beats provide the soundtrack.
Stroll is warm, sleek and model slender. But perhaps more than any of those, one of the most striking features of the bar is its utterly tiny space, a characteristic which is both advantageous and detrimental: positive in that, even at its quietest, it retains a welcoming sense of intimacy, negative in that a crowd of 15 fills the place to the brim, with little room to move. Such is the space, we’d imagine that dancing is strictly off the menu.
On the menu, however, is an intimate drink, and Stroll seems to have been designed with this in mind. Its ‘L’ configuration provides a few nooks and crannies which maintain a feeling of privacy, despite the bar’s minute size. The other drinking options span the spectrum – as suggested by the wall of liqueur taking up a sizeable portion of the bar. Mixing is a specialty, with a sizeable range of house cocktails, such as the Swell Sex (cream, midori, pineapple juice, Malibu and vodka, $85), leading the alcoholic stakes.
Stroll looks to be gaining popularity among fashionable peeps, particularly among the gay crowd looking for a quieter alternative to the party-oriented Volume just a few steps up. Hopefully we see more bars like it popping up in NoHo soon.
G/F, 7B Mee Lun St, Central, 2815 9005, www.strollbar.com.
G/F, 7B Mee Lun St, Central
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