I don’t mind telling you that I’m a sucker for secret passages of the sort revealed by pulling the correct book off a library shelf, or twisting the reading lamp a quarter turn to the left, so this place in the antique district of Hong Kong is right up my street. Mrs Pound, at first glance a collector’s stamp shop in keeping with the neighbouring traders, is actually a speakeasy bar, accessed through a sliding door activated by pressing a certain item in the shopfront display case. So cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel.
But why the subterfuge from Hong Kong designers NC Design & Architecture? Well there’s not much call for an in-your-face, gaudy bar in the Sheung Wan district, for one, but the real reason lies in the backstory. Mrs Pound, once a burlesque dancer in 1950s Shanghai, tired of her life on stage and ran off to HK with her married squeeze, Mr Ming, to open this bar in the 1960s, where it has remained. (Naturally scandalous episodes such as this have to be kept on the down-low.) Once you’ve figured out how to get in, you’ll find an interior fusing East and West, with nods to the films of Wong Kar Wai. The lower bar is the more feminine, with flamingo pink banquettes, while the upper bar uses masculine features and green seating, with the two areas meeting at the bar.