The buzz: Hong Kong’s favorite “secret” hangout is back and looking better than ever. To pretty much everyone’s relief, Sense 99 officially re-opened on July 6 after an 11-month refurb. It still occupies the same 70-year-old colonial digs on Wellington Street, but has stretched those famously cool vibes to an additional art gallery/space on the first floor.
The goods: There’s wine and Tsingtao, comfy couches and drums to bang on into the wee hours, but owner To Wun envisions the revamped Sense 99 as an art gallery and events venue too, where members (who pay an annual fee of $200) can rent the space for parties, gigs and even dance classes—though he jokes that too much twerking may crumble the pre-war building.
The décor: Get yourself buzzed in and trek up the narrow, industrial-looking stairwell, and you’re greeted by a convivial ambience and sky-high ceilings. The hangout hasn’t strayed too far from its former look, featuring similarly styled eclectic décor, and the addition of brighter flashes of paint and a Chinese lion dance head overlooking the bar. The third floor, with its collection of assorted instruments for late night jams, is airier and more welcoming—and the terrace is nicer than ever. Make sure to check out the beautiful new tiling on the first and third floors, which has been carefully matched to the originals. By Kate Springer