We’ve long been complaining about the dying gay bar scene in Hong Kong, what with the recent passing of the iconic Propaganda.
And although many venues are becoming more gay-friendly, there are fewer bars dedicated to the community. Located in Causeway Bay, Circo is the latest multi-purpose venue for the LGBT community, and it’s a breath of fresh air away from the regular scene in SoHo and Sheung Wan’s Jervois Street.
Tucked away behind Times Square, Circo is all the way up on the 22nd floor, offering a sweeping view of the Causeway Bay cityscape thanks to high ceilings and huge windows. The cocktail lounge is modern and chic with a slick bar, leather couches and booths for some quiet time on weekdays, and the whole venue changes into a dance club on weekends, with in-house DJs and plenty of beautiful people.
A cocktail lounge, Circo offers 10 creative and carefully handcrafted cocktails, which will be shuffled around every two or three months according to season. The signature Red Carpet Moment ($148) makes for a dramatic entrance, and we were amazed by its depth, with Kavalan Sherry Oak whisky matched with vermouth and a hint of Earl Grey. If you feel like something summery and refreshing, go for From Circo With Love ($108): This fizzy combination of Prosecco, passionfruit and elderflower liqueurs is a great choice to beat the heat. Despite its name, the Honey Honey ($108), isn’t just about sweetness. Made with Bombay Sapphire gin, Drambuie, lemon and of course, honey, the drink is topped with a layer of egg white foam that gives it the creaminess and frothiness it needs. Apple pie fans will love the Adam’s Apple ($138), a spicy, intensely flavorful and not-so-innocent drink made with Earl Grey-infused gin, fresh apple juice and cinnamon syrup.
Although out of most gays’ comfort zones location-wise, Circo has the vibe and the drinks to become the next great place to be for the LGBT community. But it’s also straight-friendly, as the bar believes in inclusivity, rather than aiming to become a niche gay venue targeting a specific group, be it bear, otter or twink. While they’re not serving eats just yet, a full kitchen is in place and Circo will soon roll out a food menu, as well as a range of healthy nonalcoholic juices for the health-conscious.
Guys (gays), you’re out of excuses not to go out.
22/F, Oliv, 15 Sharp St. East, Causeway Bay, 2892-8808, facebook.com/CircoHK
The Buzz: The Decor: The Drinks: Why You’ll Be Back: Xavier Ng