PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 July, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 July, 2000, 12:00am

The bar scene in Causeway Bay is alive - and kicking. And while much of the talk around town has been about the watering holes popping up along Yiu Wa Street, a little extra leg work will bring you a few pleasant surprises.

First up there's Area (21 Sharp Street East, Causeway Bay. Tel: 2575 6300. Happy hour: 5-8pm). On weekdays, it's mainly after-work suits enjoying the cool, blue decor but the focus shifts to a younger crowd the later things get. Standard drinks will set you back around $50 and bar snacks are also available, On weekends it's time for the dance crowd to take up residence - pre-and sometimes post-gigs - and the place can fill up quickly.

If you like the scene at Area, then head over to Lan Fong Road and you'll get two rewards. There's Dining Area (G/F 17 Lan Fong Road, Causeway Bay. Tel: 2915 0260) which does serve drinks but is - as you would expect - more a place to gather and chow down. And then there's the best reason to journey into the area - Wolf (G/F 11 Lan Fong Road, Causeway Bay. Tel: 2895 0331. Happy hour: 5-9pm). It's new (well, five months old), spacious and comfortable - and you can actually hold a conversation without having to shout (almost unthinkable in Hong Kong). The prices are reasonable (around $50 for standard drinks) and trendy young professionals love the place.

Rip-off alert! The old bar-munchies scam is also alive and well in Causeway Bay. Watch out for the 'complimentary' snacks that arrive with your drinks. Dig in and they'll set you back around $40.