Header image courtesy of The Music Room at Potato Head Hong Kong (via Facebook)
If it isn’t Covid fatigue that has done it, then maybe it was the prolonged period of time away from the clubs that did. As the iron fists surrounding public space regulations unclench, partyers are returning to nightlife like moths to a flame, though admittedly, not everyone is keen on returning to a weekly schedule of hard-hitting shooters and debating between waiting it out for the next night bus or shelling out eyebrow-raising prices for a taxi home.
For a more subdued setting that still gets your pulse racing, here are the best music lounges in Hong Kong to visit to ease your way back into the city’s bustling party scene that famously never sleeps.
Tucked inside the Indonesian-inspired Potato Head resto-bar, this one-of-a-kind listening space is a hidden trove of wonders for audiophiles. A suave gem to be discovered, step through their discreet entryway and let the outside world melt away within its sound-insulated walls. Armed with the finest high-fidelity sound system, paired with an armoury of over 6,000 vinyl records curated by resident music director Johnny Hiller, the mood is guaranteed to always be on point. Sip on their tropical rework of Mai Tai ($110) spiked with certified Potato Head spiced rum while enjoying the soothing vibes of a laid-back listen that turns lively later into the night. Record sleeves you should expect to catch sight of include the likes of Sandy Riviera, Project Pablo, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, and Horse Meat Disco.
Potato Head Hong Kong, 100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun | (+852) 2858 6066
Anything but terrible, this vibey fixture at Eaton Hotel is a go-to spot for any music genre. Be it house, funk, hip-hop, rock, or whatever slips through the cracks of classification, you are guaranteed to find something you like to jam to amongst their sets of international and local acts. Past performances encompass the pulsating glitchy beats of Sega Bodega, Hong Kong-based Italo-disco powerhouse Guido Balboa, and the gooey grooves of Riddem, for starters.
The location is composed of a chic bar that spills over into a spacious garden-esque patio with breathtaking views of Jordan all over, an open-air continuation to their plush Music Room and boundary-pushing Gallery Room. Centred around strengthening the music scene on the Kowloon side, Terrible Baby’s vibrant venue is complemented by the always vibey tunes and an equally colourful cocktail and shisha selection.
Terrible Baby, 4/F, Eaton HK, 380 Nathan Road, Jordan | (+852) 2710 1866
A retail boutique, radio station, and studio rolled into one, Belowground is a creative centrum brought to the basement of Landmark by local music collective Yeti Out. Aside from playing host to upcoming production workshops, recording seshes, and DJ classes, the location is kitted out with an in-house radio station of the same name, beaming waves online 24 hours a day. Its sterile steel-and-white-tiled aesthetic is evocative of the HÖR Berlin hot seat, and live sets and label shows are complemented by the wood-panel-framed Ojas speakers. With the F&B kiosk opposite playing host to a constantly rotating variety of collaborators, grab a bottled concoction, a snack, and simply tune in.
Belowground, Basement, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central
Set in the cellar where the tech-house-peddling Drop once stood, this hard-to-find destination is nestled beside an inconspicuous set of stairs along the edge of Hollywood Road. Brought to life by the team that also birthed Honky Tonks Tavern and Shady Acres, Quality Goods Club is a foray into exquisite dining alongside a brilliant live soundtrack. Plating up dinner service under shining cloches and flashing spotlights, this is the place where you can have your bavette ($288) and eat it, too. Showcasing live performances in the earlier parts of the evening before transitioning to decks, take a musical journey of multitudes with a crafted cocktail in hand until the deep hours of the night.
Quality Goods Club, Basement, On Lok House, 39–43 Hollywood Road, Central
Perched atop the iconic California Tower in the heart of LKF, this rooftop destination is a spiritual successor to the late Volar, serving up the same thrills in the spot that used to host Cé La Vi. Expect the familiar buzz of spirited house tracks, melded into the gorgeous atmosphere by local spinners like the Calamar Records crew, Mr Ho, and more. Its interiors are the work of Nelson Chow—the designer for Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades—and Faye elevates retro-futuristic sleekness of the space age by peppering in chic touches. The animatic interiors are a dazzling precursor to the terrace space, which boasts a world-class view of the surrounding panorama.
Faye, 25/F & 26/F, California Tower, 30–32 D’Aguilar Street, Central | (+852) 6741 4234
Although Frank’s is known primarily for its banging meatballs and other red-sauced Italo-American dishes, the vibrant restaurant is also equipped with a fully stocked library of vinyl records that are expertly presented over its old-school countertops. Diving deep into classic hip-hop as well as its precursory genres, it is hard to resist getting moving to the curated selection of free-flowing beats and rhymes on the patterned linoleum floor. Be sure to check their online Hall of Fame every Wednesday to spot if you have been snapshotted getting low and jiggy with it, and shoot the team at Frank’s a message if you want to nab up the photo in a silver gelatine print.
Frank’s Italian American Social Club, Harilela House, G/F & 1/F, 79 Wyndham Street, Central | (+852) 9097 9730