Giving off an air of Paris in bygone years, opulence reigns supreme in this new club, with plush chairs and divans welcoming a nice long chill-out session, accompanied by a good bottle of wine or premium whiskey.
"A lot of people tell me it reminds them of the best of old New Orleans speakeasies and lounges,"’ says general manager Bette Harvey. "It’s a bar to chill out in, chat with friends and enjoy some good food."
This is bound to be a hangout for the more discerning drinker used to the best life has to offer, and a glance at the wine list confirms the suspicion that big pockets are the order of the day. But class has a price, and that’s just what you get here, be it in the semi-private back room, the exclusive upper room (reservations only) or the sumptuous bar.
"We’ll show chick flicks," says general manager Richard Smith. "And we’ll only let straight guys in."
Smith is only joking … we think. Aside from the aforementioned dance floors, the rectangle shaped, 6,000 square feet nightspot features two separate DJ booths and bars – one on each end of the club.
"You can actually split the place into three separate rooms," says Smith, who then proceeds to slide open and close the metallic-looking doors, turning the long venue into three separate boxes. Expect the middle room to be popular for lounging, since it’s equipped with circle-shaped sofa couches and multiple LCD screens. Otherwise, the club even boasts a fire-place, an elevated VIP room and street graffiti is set to adorn the walls any day now.
“We joke it was the seven year itch”, says managing director Colette Koo about the recent renovations at Drop, one of Hong Kong’s favorite nightspots. “After a long debate about whether to renovate or not, we finally decided to grab the bull by the horns and do something new.”
That ‘new’ was basically everything, as original designer Dan Evans essentially redesigned the venue. This involved a full range of activities, ranging from the positioning of the toilets and pillars to creating more seating space for the venue’s 1,600 members (and if 100 show up at any one time, the club is full).
Bright orange now dominates, with a smattering of pinks, blues and brown block wood rounding out the color spectrum. “It’s more of a retro carnival feel,” says Koo. “The bar is more open and we expect that you can come here eight years from now and Drop will still have a classic look.
To complement the look, even the drinks have been updated, with new favorites like Watermelon Cosmos and a full range of martinis (including Wasabi, Easter and Vesper varieties) replacing drinks that weren’t ordered as much.
Other additions include a planned R&B night on Thursdays, food that can be ordered from neighboring restaurant Droplet and “Girls Night Out night on Wednesdays, when women can get half-priced drinks.
But many popular aspects of the venue will remain the some, including Manicure Night ($200 for two fruit martinis and a manicure) and the guest DJs that co-MD Joel Lai regularly brings to Drop.
“It’s a more personal experience, so DJs want to come here,” says Koo. “And as ever, our crowd remains unpredictable, which is one of the reasons why people keep coming back. “
FYI: Drop is still a “member’s only” club, but becoming part of this exclusive clique may not be as difficult as it’s made out to be. “Coming in when it’s not busy and getting to know us on a friendly basis is the best way to gain membership, ” claims Koo.
Drop, Basement, On Lok Mansion, 39-43 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong +852 2543 8856, (Open 7pm-2-4am weeknights, 7pm-5am on weekends)
In the colour spectrum, brown is hardly considered the most glamorous of the lot…
This, however, hasn’t stopped architect Nunn Luan from opening a bar dedicated to the colour.
Stemming from an insider phrase with her friends, who would describe a night on the town drinking whiskey as “going brown”, Luan opened Brown as a place where whiskey, coffee, cigars and chocolate could be celebrated.
The formula has proved so successful that, in addition to the original Happy Valley venue, Luan has also taken her unique concept to Robinson Road.
Intended as a “home away from home” Luan hopes Brown will be an alternative to the more hectic locales of Lan Kwai Fong or Wanchai.
On the bill is live jazz three times a week as well as Jack Daniels nights.
Brown Happy Valley, Sing Woo Road, Happy Valley. Tel: +852 2891 8558. Brown Central, 30-32 Robinson Road, Mid Levels, Hong Kong Tel.+852 2971 0012