One of our favourite ways to get to know a city is doing the things the locals do. So when planning our Hong Kong trip, we did more than a little digging into the less touristy things to do in this amazing city. We soon discovered that HK is a cocktail lover’s dream! We are big fans of funky drinks and aesthetic bar designs, so when we found out about Hong Kong’s speakeasy scene, we were thrilled.
There are at least a dozen of these ‘hidden’ bars in the city that aren’t exactly ‘secret’, but do require a little bit of reconnaissance to find and enter. And while we visited a couple during our trip, there were none better than Frank’s Library–a speakeasy, IN A SPEAKEASY! *cue Inception theme music*
Foxglove is located inside a corporate office building, and just walking into a building like that in the middle of the night felt exciting already. After an elevator ride to the fourth floor, we stepped into what appeared to be a fancy umbrella store straight out of a British spy movie. A woman behind the counter asked us how many in our party–four–and before we knew it, a panel of the umbrella display cases slides open to reveal the ‘secret’ bar behind. We. Were. SHOOK!
Foxglove has the atmosphere of a a swanky ocean liner or train car from the 1950s, a swanky Titanic-meets-James Bond vibe. A live jazz band played fun tunes as we entered. We took a seat to take in the music but not for long–Frank’s Library was waiting.
We started our search for the secret-secret-bar by the washrooms, as per the internet instructions, and didn’t have to look for long. A yellow sign saying ‘Frank’s Library’ stood in front of a heavy red floor-to-ceiling curtain. We pulled it back and the four of us stepped inside the small space, staring at a vintage elevator pad. We won’t say anymore about that to keep the mystery alive but when we did get in…
Frank’s Library was everything we wanted. A small room, that wouldn’t seat more than twelve, filled with old books, magnifying glasses, dusty decanters, and little trinkets and relics from around the world. It was exactly the kind of thing you’d find behind a revolving bookcase in an old-timey murder mystery. Colonel Frank with the candlestick in the library! And with only one other couple in the room before us, we revelled in the exclusivity of it all.
The bartender gave us the story of the fictional “Frank,” a well-travelled older gentleman that brought his knowledge of drinks from around the world back home. As we salivated over the cocktail menu, he placed our complimentary mini wine cocktail to say a civilized welcome. We had, indeed, chosen the right bar.
Rose chose the most popular drink on the menu, according to the bartender, Bird of Paradise, a fruity sour rum cocktail complete with a straw wrapped in cotton candy, which was freshly spun à la minute. Adam had a classic Boulevardier, with barrel aged whiskey distilled specifically for the bar.
We sipped our drinks while listening to vibey hip-hop and r&b, while dreaming of the speakeasy we’d build in a future home. But nothing we could imagine could really compare to this.
After an hour and a half in Frank’s Library (and many more past our bedtimes), we paid the bill–$380 HKD, or about $60 CDN (pricey but in our opinions, worth it), and reluctantly wandered back out onto the street, still dreaming of our magical adventure inside.
As always, we want to hear your thoughts. What do you think? Is a speakeasy your vibe? And have you been to any good ones in your travels? We’ll gladly take all the reccos, so leave them down below!