Hong Kong's got its fair share of drinking haunts. But there's nowhere quite like The Pawn, a traditional low-rise historic building in Wan Chai, whose second-floor bar is a charismatic inner city hideaway.
Guests are greeted by a leafy oasis in the bar and adjoining balcony area, where they can enjoy a selection of inspired cocktails.
The Pawn is more than just a cool place to hang out in Hong Kong — Photo courtesy of The Pawn
“We’ve created an all-day dining counter with a backdrop of hundreds of potted plants. As guests enter via the narrow stairs, the greenery is their first visual reference," says Co-founder Alan Lo. "The historic architecture of the bar area provides many challenges, so we’ve divided the area into individual sections, where each space serves a different purpose but contributes to the overall design.”
A separate section of the bar opens daily from 6 p.m. for after-work drinks, and it resembles a chic private club with leather couches and dark wood panels, adding an old-world charm.
An intoxicating choice of cocktails will stir the imagination of casual drinkers and shake cocktail connoisseurs out of their complacency. Complementing the cocktails, an enticing menu of bar snacks includes spiced pork ribs with paprika yoghurt and barbecue sauce and beef tartare with juniper, coriander mayonnaise and pickled shiitake.
The Pawn’s rooftop has also been transformed into a mini urban farm. As a longtime advocate for sustainable, locally sourced ingredients, Michelin-starred British chef Tom Aikens will be incorporating the farm’s harvested produce in his cooking, while the homegrown herbs will be part of The Pawn’s cocktails.
“Our vision is to provide a platform for people from different creative disciplines to contribute,” adds Lo. “We have Tom Aikens overseeing the restaurant's kitchen, his team cultivating the rooftop farm, bespoke tailors Gieves & Hawkes designing the managers’ uniforms, a resident mixologist creating unique cocktails and Stanley Wong returning to create The Pawn’s art program."
At a time when Hong Kong developers have "stripped away the soul and character of many original neighborhoods," says Lo, The Pawn will focus on the Wan Chai community, with plans to become a creative hub for local and international creative talents.
"Our intention is to serve dishes that not only appeal to local diners, but also travelers and foodies. Above all, we want to create a fun dining experience and a relaxed, informal environment," says Lo. "Building on The Pawn’s long-standing reputation, we offer guests a dining experience unlike anything else in Wan Chai."