The innovative cocktail bar on Hollywood Road will be shutting its doors after May 30, but founder Victoria Chow promises that it will live on in another form

When one cannot see the wood for the trees, you get situations where beloved restaurants and bars are forced to relocate, or close completely. Hong Kong’s notoriously high rents and fickle landlords have sounded the death knell for even some of the city's most successful establishments—and The Woods, the popular cocktail bar founded by Victoria Chow back in 2014, will be serving its final drinks on Hollywood at the end of May.

The underground drinking den has long been a staple on the cocktail scene, but after negotiations on the lease failed earlier this month, Chow confirmed that the bar would have to be cleared out by May 31 (the final night of service will be May 30). “We’ll be making use of every single day we have left and do all the things we’ve always wanted to do,” she tells us. From now until the end of the month, The Woods team will be making the most of their time by putting on a series of themed events: movie nights, a Bloody Mary buffet, a candlelight picnic, to name a few currently being planned.

On the final two nights of The Woods, the team will clear out all the furniture, set out a winding table and present a 12-course drink menu featuring the best of the bar’s offerings. Another idea Chow has going is to invite Hong Kong’s top bartenders to do half-hour guest shifts at the bar.

Following the closure, The Woods will continue to live on in other ways; Chow wants to bring the bar to different locations, not just around Hong Kong but perhaps even to other cities in Asia. She describes it as a nomadic bar concept, likening it to the travelling restaurant model presented by chef James Sharman and the One Star House Party team. “Hopefully, this is an interesting way to sustain a bar brand, without the insanity of city rents,” she says, admitting that such pressures were always going to put a chokehold on creativity.

Still, it’s the end of an era for the young entrepreneur. “It was scary looking back, seeing how it’s already been five years. It shouldn’t be a long time, but in Hong Kong it feels like forever,” Chow continues. After being a part of the Central bar fabric for so long, it was never going to be a quiet goodbye. “We didn’t want to be one of those bars that just silently closed and disappeared,” she says.

Chow broke the news on her Instagram, writing: “I want to be clear that The Woods is not going anywhere, it’s going everywhere. We will continue on our mission to always push the envelope and do creative drink things, cater and produce fun events @tailoredbythewoods, all the while spreading the gospel of good booze.” The confirmed line-up of events designed to bid farewell to 17 Hollywood Road will be announced soon, so keep an eye on the account.

The Woods