• Sun
  • Dec 28, 2014
  • Updated: 12:25am
My Take
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 January, 2014, 4:10am
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 January, 2014, 4:10am

We'll drink to that, say club investors

I don't know if Magnum, the nightclub and disco operator, is a good investment. Its IPO this week more than doubled on its first day of trading, but then it promptly went south by more than 12 per cent yesterday. But if other IPO prospectuses were written in a similarly informative and entertaining way, we wouldn't have to worry about investor education.

Quite simply, Magnum's prospectus is the best-read of its kind, offering insights into Hong Kong's nightlife, clubbing habits, and the mores and manners when it comes to ordering drinks so as not to embarrass your date. Let's just say I know nothing about these sort of things, being a nice little middle-aged husband who goes home early after work.

Why does Magnum have three different clubs within walking distance of each other in Central? Because people go from club to club and rarely stay in the same place for long. The clubs make most of their money by selling drinks, which the prospectus helpfully defines as "generally known as alcoholic beverages served by glass and prepared by bartenders mixing different alcohol and ingredients". You can tell these guys are giving it to you straight when they don't call their bartenders mixologists as they do at many pretentious clubs.

But what are the drinks to order? Moet & Chandon champagne is Magnum's top earner. But the most popular at the moment is the Jagerbomb, which mixes beer or an energy drink with the Jagermeister liqueur made from 56 herbs and spices, with 35 per cent alcohol content. Smirnoff vodka is another popular drink, though if you want to impress friends and dates, Magnum recommends Belvedere Vodka, which sells at HK$5,000 a bottle.

Ironically, the apparent success and popularity of Magnum's clubs have to do with the financial crisis. Genetic studies have shown many Chinese have a low tolerance for alcohol, so they are not big spenders on drinks. But since the global crisis, there has been an influx of expatriates, many of them professionals with high-paying jobs, Magnum deftly observes, which make them ideal customers: heavy drinkers with money to spend. I was sadly allotted zero IPO shares, but the prospectus was a good exercise in local urban anthropology.


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This article is now closed to comments

"Genetic studies have shown many Chinese have a low tolerance for alcohol" Are you sure? Go north and one business dinner will tell you the studies must flawed!
"so they are not big spenders on drinks." Again, are you sure? Who do you think are the ones propping up the bars and nightclubs in central?
When I was younger and single, after work I headed to my bar. It was necessary because I was camping out at my sister’s apartment and I want not to interrupt her and her family as much. Besides, I met up the regulars at the bar and most importantly the bar tender who served me and others like one’s private butler. Bars to me in New York City where I lived really were my home after work till I finished my drinks and munched enough of the h’oderves of the day and headed real home.
But drinking champagne was not my style even though in the 80s it had become popular – not straight up but as mixed drink (what a waste) mostly ordered by ladies. I was and still am a double Black Label guy. On ice and fresh one for all refills.
So bars in Hong Kong are investment and I don't know if drinking IPO there is more than a place for social gathering. Perhaps order Moet Chandon by the bottle.
Please allow me to indulge a bit more on the topic of drinks. The Chinese New Year is just around the corner and alcoholic beverage if use it right certainly makes the celebration memorable for years to come.
One of the treat I get to camp out at my sister was the New Year dinner. My sister would cook up lobster from New Hampshire in Chinese style by pan frying it in pieces with shredded ginger and scallions. To top the dish my brother-in-law’s pick of chilled Moet Chandon served just the perfect match of the seafood dish consummately.
Try it. You will indulge as much as I do.
I did recommend in AL's My Take this dish and drink for CY Leung’s dinner at the Governor House which AL attended. No report what being served.
clubs and bars are different
Irish bars are nice for drinks and music
TST’s Chinese bars are often quiet and eerie
Are there any Italian bars in HK?
I miss the many evenings of sharing highbrow jokes and circulating hogget decanters
Can anyone clarify Magnum’s Chinese name and its meaning
Any bar serves Chartreuse or養命酒 Mibyou?
To psl....
Club 1911 on Stauton Street that resembles very much like a bar in NYC despite of its décor I guess of a vintage that the name of the place suggested. It was my drinking hole after work. My daily attendance there for two years, I personally knew the staffs well there. We often during down time exchanged ideas mostly of Hong Kong politics believe it or not and personal life. To me I almost found my bar that I had in NYC. But the drinkers there were a bit transient to my liking.
I was there on the evening when the handover was taking place. It was eerily quiet with heavy pouring outside the bar.
might try the year of republican revolution
and see you there sometime
but my days of bar hopping are long gone
not in NYC but west across the river
around NY/NJ state line
and mostly in the Bay Area


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