Feeling the heat
In a highly competitive scene where countless bars and watering holes come and go like shots of tequila, Volume has solidified its place in Hong Kong’s gay nightlife. After nearly five years of offering a place to chat over a few drinks or let loose to favourite hits, the Volume we know and love went into a two-month hibernation/renovation this summer and has emerged with two shiny new venues – Volume: H.E.A.T and the soon-to-open Volume: Beat.
H.E.A.T was set in motion when licensing restrictions wanted to force Volume to close at an earlier hour. The owners took a proactive approach and changed their space into something suitable for daytime dawdling. “We were thinking about what the community needs the most, which is really something in the afternoon where community groups can meet,” says co-owner Evan Steer. The result was H.E.A.T, a tapas bistro which opened at the end of September. Patrons can enjoy a Sunday brunch or nibbles from their menu which has been customised to suit the gay man’s finicky weight-conscious diet. “You know how gay boys are with their diet − low carbs, super healthy,” jokes Steer.
After getting their tapas fill, satiated boys can don their tightest low-cut tank tops and shake their svelte booties at Volume: Beat −
H.E.A.T ’s nightlife party sister. The new club venue is soon-to-open across the street from Zoo Bar and will essentially serve the purpose of the original Volume. Beat will open with a bang on October 29 and you can get free entry to the Phoenix Rising launch party by downloading their new single from their website. “It’s a little thank-you gift to our patrons who have been waiting for us to re-launch,” says Steer.
The focus on Beat will be the music, which has always been the signature of the Volume brand. Steer and his team of DJs want to bring tracks to the venue before they reach the top of the charts, to expose Hong Kong audiences to music they might not have heard before. “It’s all about keeping it fresh and new so people have something to look forward to,” says Steer.
Should the new Volume formula be a success, we might just be seeing their name extend both locally (with more Volume-branded outlets) and abroad, as Steer hints at setting up shop elsewhere in Southeast Asia. But keeping the gay scene fresh and fun has always been – and will continue to be – Volume’s mission. “We see ourselves first and foremost as a fun lifestyle brand,” says Steer. “We don’t want to be cool or hip, just fun. I always joke that our unofficial motto is ‘fun, friendship and the occasional fuck’.”
Volume: H.E.A.T LG/F, 83-85 Hollywood Rd Central. 2857 7683
Volume: Beat 62 Jervois St Sheung Wan