In honour of International Women’s Day, we grab five minutes with Beckaly Franks, award-winning bartender and co-owner of The Pontiac, a rocking new all-female run bar that is being hailed as the real life Coyote Ugly.
Word on the grapevine is Hong Kong has a new Coyote Ugly? True?
If we must, I would say that The Pontiac is a place where the Coyote meets the Cocktail. My career as a bartender started in a high-volume rock bar where I choreographed live dance routines and put on the show. I am no stranger to feeding the party to guests. Commonly I joked that if I could still dance on the bar whilst making the same quality cocktails I made at Clyde Common, I would. However it was not a joke, I was serious – and now we do!
Do you and your staff dance on the bar?
The team and I dance on the bar whenever we want, but you can expect that one of us will always be on the bar at midnight! It’s the point in the evening where we get to take a time-out and thank everyone for being part of something special. “We Are The Pontiac” refers to the collaboration between us and them.
What would be your ultimate bar-dancing anthem?
Walk by Pantera or Uptown Funk.
Why does Hong Kong need an all female bar?
The Pontiac was originally intended to be a female-centric program but not obsolete of men. At the end of the day, for whatever realm of natural selection, the three men I have hired just weeded themselves out. It is important for Hong Kong to have an all babe bar for a multitude of reasons. The most important reason being they deserve a platform, a voice, an opportunity, and a challenge. We have a long way to go when it comes to female progression within our profession. I am not saying that I’m any Joan of Arc, but if they need someone to light that candle, I brought a blowtorch!
Some say “it’s a man’s world”, what is your response?
I’m sorry, all I hear is that super sexy song written and performed by the late and brilliant James Brown. You know, that womanising drug addict that used to kick the s*** out of his wife? … Let’s save this for another discussion.
Where did The Pontiac get its name?
The Pontiac’s name derives from multiple feelings, philosophies, and ethos. We take the spirit of Chief Pontiac, the industrial hard-working approach of our blue-collar brothers and lastly, the drive of America’s first Hot Rod! At the end of the day, the cheerleader goes to Prom with the quarterback, but she gives her heart to the greaser on the edge of the cliff under the stars. We are said greaser and it is in that idea of lust and rock n’ roll that we live.
How does the bar scene in Hong Kong differ from the States where you got your inspiration?
The scene in Hong Kong is completely different but people, at their heart, are the same. That is where we tap in. It’s a privilege to be part of Hong Kong, and we wouldn’t change a thing!
What can we expect from a night at the Pontiac?
You can simply expect great customer service, a well-executed cocktail for an accessible price, rock n’ roll in all its forms, and a new place to call home.
Looking for a place to call home? Head to The Pontiac on 13 Old Bailey Street, Central, and catch the bar babes in action.
Read more! Looking for more nighttime entertainment? Why not Laugh Your Way through the Week with our roundup of comedy nights in Hong Kong.