PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 July, 2010, 12:00am

Upper Basement, 79 Wyndham Street, Central Tel: 2522 8118 Open: 5pm until late

The vibe: Hong Kong is not short of Irish bars, thanks to two large chains and a host of independent Irish-themed pubs. Although many do their best to look Irish, the owners of Kila have taken a different approach - they've done their best to actually feel Irish.

Pubs in Ireland are a focal point for the community, and that is what the five Irish owners of Kila have aimed to achieve. The pub is a local, not a tourist attraction, and a place where people can relax, catch up and hang out.

There are televisions and a big-screen projector for sports, and the area outside the pub has been crammed during the World Cup. But in an effort to preserve a more social atmosphere, the bar will not be ramming sports down drinkers' throats.

The attitude to food is similar. Staying true to traditional pub values, snacks will be available but there are no plans for a full dinner menu. Drinkers can order food in if they wish, as the bar has great restaurant connections. The drinks: for an 'authentic' European bar, the range of draught beers is narrow. Guinness (HK$65), Asahi and Carlsberg (both HK$60) are available on tap and bottled beers come in wider choice, but there's nothing that Kila can tout as exclusive on its beer list.

Happy hour runs from opening at 5pm until 9pm. On Sundays, it's happy hour all day, with Guinness going for HK$50 and lager for just HK$45.

Dog owners will also want to head down on a Sunday for 'Dog Day Afternoon'. Kila has hooks outside that owners can tie their dogs up to while enjoying a pint, and are encouraged to come down on Sundays. And the wide, street-facing glass wall means your four-legged friend will never be out of sight. Sunday nights are also reserved for local singers and songwriters. The verdict: an Irish pub in Ireland doesn't have to make a statement because it's Irish by default. This is what's being tried at Kila - successfully. Walking in feels like walking into a pub in Ireland, not because of the Guinness posters telling you it's an Irish bar, but just because it is Irish. Which means it's homely, comfortable and a great place to catch up with your mates.