It could be Hong Kong's least exclusive nightspot. But with drinks costing less than your average bottle of water, it is no surprise that financially challenged youngsters choose the 7-Eleven - or 'Club Seven' - as their drinking establishment of choice in Lan Kwai Fong. The 7-Eleven on D'Aguilar Street was easily the most crowded venue in the district at midnight on a recent weekend, a Sunday Morning Post reporter observed. Judging from the number of revellers dropping in to buy beers and alcoholic drinks and the 100-strong crowd drinking outside, the store competes as a de facto bar. 'I like to get pre-drinks at 7-Eleven before clubbing, so as to get a bit tipsy before going in,' said party-goer Felix Lam Kai-lok. 'It's more expensive in the club. [At 7-Eleven] I can possibly save more than 40 bucks per drink,' the 20-year-old said. He added that the store was a good 'hanging-out spot' to wait for friends before hitting the clubs. But bars close to the two Lan Kwai Fong 7-Elevens admitted to feeling the pinch. The manager of the Coconuts bar, Abdul Hanif, said the popularity of the convenience store had put a damper on his business. The opening of another 7-Eleven across the street three months ago made matters worse, he said. 'Our customers buy less cigarettes and drinks from us,' he complained, adding that more guests were not making their purchases at his bar. 'Sometimes when they come in and out with a bottle of Heineken or Stella Artois, it's hard to tell whether they bought it here or there.' Mr Hanif also claimed that the rowdy, drunken crowds congregating outside the 7-Eleven at night were a nuisance to guests and staff alike. 'The teenagers outside are often very noisy and drunk. Sometimes there is fighting, too. It's big trouble to us.' Clubs with an older clientele pronounced a different verdict, however. For Lux, a nightclub that aims to attract mature drinkers, the 7-Elevens were a welcome presence. 'We think 7-Eleven is good because it can separate potential customers from those who can't spend too much on drinks,' said manager Phillip Chow Chi-hong. 'Those who cannot spend much money, now they're all staying at the corner.' The police, while aware of the potential for under-age drinking and the occasional fight breaking out at the store, were nonchalant. 'There are troublemakers everywhere in the Lan Kwai Fong area,' said a policeman patrolling the area. 'Also, it's hard for sales staff at 7-Eleven to refuse to sell to under-age drinkers because some customers will say they have no right to check IDs. We will only look into the matter if there are complaints. This is how life is - the way businesses are conducted.' A 7-Eleven spokeswoman said the company regularly stocked more alcohol than usual at its Lan Kwai Fong outlets. Staff try their best to serve only customers who are over 18.