We haven’t had a chance to review the new Employees Only HK, but it has opened to much fanfare in the city. Here’s what you should know. Designed by iThink Consulting Group, Employees Only Hong Kong will be a reiteration of the original in New York City — from the Art Deco-inspired aesthetic and hidden entrance behind the psychic’s lair to the notorious serpentine bar that catalyzes guest interaction.
It’s located at the heart of Hong Kong’s nightlife district, at 19 Lan Kwai Fong, Central. The outlet will be the group’s fourth worldwide location and second in Asia, following the successful openings of EO Singapore in June 2016 (included in Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2017) and EO Miami in February 2017.
Industry heavyweights include Jameel Frith (above, formerly of April Bloomfield’s Salvation Taco and Mission Chinese), Sean Marino (who most recently ran the bar program at the award-winning Ristorante Morini), and international bar trainer Zbigniew “Zibi” Zapert, who has taught hundreds of bartenders under the Diageo Bar Academy and Diageo World Class Program, and is an alum of London’s Soho House and Café Royal. Beverage director is Owen Gibler, who you might have met during his stint in the Singapore.
A menu of elevated bistro fare with Eastern European influences will also be available, from the kitchen led Chef James Black, formerly of Bo Innovation and Marco Pierre White’s Belvedere in London.
Employees Only will be one of the few bars in Hong Kong where all bartenders free-pour complex cocktails at speed, showcasing their signature fast and lively style of service. You must check out one of their signature cocktails Ready Fire Aim, a shaken mezcal cocktail with lime juice, honey, pineapple, and a few dashes of hellfire bitters.
EO HK, 19 Lan Kwai Fong, Central.