By Nicholas Walton
There are few things Hong Kong society likes more than a member’s-only club. The fact that many are exclusive in name only is often lost in the rush of high heels clattering down concrete alleyways as socialites jostle for position at the velvet rope of the next big thing.
Enter Boujis Hong Kong, the first outpost of the exclusive London club favored by royals and celebrities, which recently opened on Pottinger Street. Taking up a space previously inhabited by the short-lived “gentleman’s club” Madame Butterfly Boujis promises a bit more staying power, thanks to its A-list credentials from the UK, superb drinks behind the mahogany, and a few top talents in middle management.
Boujis positions itself as the ultimate East-meets-West destination for the world’s jet set, but walking into the highly selective hideaway, you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s just another bar. Turn up the lights and you might see subtle yet effective hints of cobalt and turquoise, with plenty of Rule Britannia elements thrown in, but the dimly lit, bar-on-one-side-tables-on-the-other layout and the low-slung ceiling are Hong Kong signatures that do little to get the blood pumping.
Fortunately Boujis has a secret weapon in the form of general manager Sam Jeveons, a hospitality savant who presents an old-world elegance often lost in this part of the world. Formerly of the Upper House, Jeveons works with head of music and entertainment Miles Slater and bar curator Will de la Praudière, both fresh from London, to head up a truly impressive experience that includes a sophisticated, palate-pleasing cocktail list laced with hard-to-find drops like vodka from the Chase distillery in Herefordshire, and reserve bottlings of Goslings Black Seal Rum.
Of course, to sample these concoctions, you need to get past the bouncers. Membership starts from the fairly reasonable HK$7,500 (US$967) per annum, but that’s just the fee. You also have to be recommended by two existing members and be vetted by a Boujis committee made up of “an eclectic mix of artisans.” That said, members can bring two guests and frequent corporate events ensure it won’t just be the city’s hoi oligoi who will have a chance to peak behind the velvet rope.
Boujis, Car Po Commercial Building, 37 Pottinger Street, Central; 852/2324-0200.