It’s safe to say summer is over and with all the pool parties and weekly boozing slowing down (for some), one must ponder what do with their weekends. For those fresh out of university or on exchanges, this is the perfect time to experience new venues and creep out of your comfort zone.
Being a late bloomer, i only started clubbing at 17. For HK kids, 17 is pretty ancient especially for those who’ve been training their liver since they were 13 so you can imagine, me at 17 walking into club 97 for the first time, drinking Long Island Ice Tea for the FIRST TIME spelt trouble. To be honest, i think your first clubbing experience can either be the best experience as an adolescent or it can go terribly wrong…the latter being the frequent path for most. Thankfully, i had a blast breaking it down on the dance floor solo and unstoppable while my mates were partnered up with their hookups of the night. While i thought i was an amazing dancer, the pictures didn’t say the same the next day.
Anyway, 4 years later with my liver well trained (more like damaged), i have found my preferences in clubs and music and as much as i used to love belting out “I got a feeling”, i now try my best to shun clubs which play top 40’s or clubs with MC’s shouting the same 2 words in a Louis Armstrong voice on crack.
If it’s for a piss-take night with 10 people out for a ‘Jol then i’ll consider but will have to consume at least 6 tequila shots and a few JD Cokes until I’m paraletic and incapable of hearing the music.
So it’s here that i present to you, a few of my recommended spots for quality music and atmosphere.
Establishments like XXX, Drop and Midnight (previously called Yumla) are strengthening HK’s undergound music scene offering house/techno minimal/dubstep/dnb music etc. My love for these types of genre developed after a year well spent in Beijing. I grew to love techno minimal and house so when i returned to HK i naturally scoured HK’s nightlife for venues playing this music. I highly recommend the above mentioned venues for underground music lovers. Another hidden gem, is JB’s lounge located on the 3rd floor of Ho Lee building next to VOLAR. This quaint club hosts a variety of gigs including drum’n’bass nights by HEAVY HK and house nights from 1am onwards on Saturdays.
Check out the FB pages here for details on events and addresses:
Another venue offering a variety of tunes from mashup to dubstep and dnb is FLY which is tucked around the corner from the FCC (Fringe Club). This club is often missed by new club goers as the location is seemingly difficult for people to find but once found, you’re ensured a good night (IF it’s not too crowded.) The patio and area outside makes it easier for people to hangout if the club is stifling and packed thus, creating a chilled out setting making it easy to meet people.
For those looking for exclusivity and something edgy, VOLAR is highly recommended ensuring top quality music considering they have a lounge side catering to hip hop/RnB lovers and a club side for house, techno minimal followers. Due to the exclusivity of the club, mainly members or those on guestlist are granted entry which can cause biased opinions about this club though, considering VOLAR has been praised over the past 8 years, has catered to VIP’s and brought in renowned DJ’s this is a quality club.
For those looking for a new clubbing experience rather than a particular genre offered, here are a couple of new venues which have opened recently. Just above Dragon-i on Arbuthnot road is a new concept club named Taboo. On the outside, it seems like a demure restaurant or cigar bar but once passing through an automatic wooden door behind the reception, you’re presented with a lengthy bar painted in white and plush seating against the walls. Further in you will find a large white piano on the ceiling. I would strongly suggest not to hang out under the piano just in case…
Downstairs, is a darker, loungey area with a burlesque, erotic setting. When i say erotic borderline kinky that’s probably because of the public glass cage/box on one side where a dancer undulates and dances. Not really my thing but for guys indulging in voyeurism in the dark, this might be for you…..
Check out the FB page : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Taboo-HK/428390390512677
Another new venue is Socialito, a new Buzz Concepts venue linked with FLY and VOLAR. The Mexican/Latino venue has an outdoor diner “Taqueria” offering taco treats and refreshing alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks. Inside is a dimly lit restaurant which transforms into a night club after 11pm resonating funky, Latino house. Though a bit pricey, the cocktails are delicious and have a good kick worth the bucks. This place is a good place to start the night before venturing to other bars on Wyndham Street.
FB page: https://www.facebook.com/SocialitoHongKong?fref=ts
Though not new, PLAY is a good venue if you’re up for a night of theatrics, popping LOTS of bottles, watching dancers on podiums and dressing up for themed nights. Recently, they launched Magic Mike Wednesdays (given the hype of the film) where ladies indulge in sweet treats and drinks and men give lap dances to ladies before 10pm on Wednesdays. If you’re down to get jiggy with macho men after work on Wednesdays, come on by.
Check out the pictures here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.365754500172918.86158.120090631405974&type=1
Stay tuned for my next post on hidden hangouts along Hollywood road and lower Soho.
– Karina C