Following the success of sultry Ophelia and cosy speakeasy J.Boroski, renowned designer Ashley Sutton and Dining Concepts are shaking up Hong Kong’s nightlife this November with yet another one-of-a-kind venue: Yojimbo on 37 Pottinger Street. Featuring extraordinary drinks, scintillating performances and exciting international DJ sets, Yojimbo is a Japan-inspired fantasyland that will revolutionise clubbing in Hong Kong.
Having designed several venues in Japan and travelled around the country, Sutton has long dreamed of creating a nightclub in Hong Kong like the stylish underground bars found in Tokyo’s Ginza district.
“Japan has some of the most sophisticated, vibrant and outrageous nightlife in the world,” Sutton explains. “I particularly love Ginza, which is home to hundreds of incredible bars, each with their own weird and wonderful design elements.”
Stepping inside Yojimbo, guests first find themselves in a minimalistic yet intimate cocktail lounge that evokes some of the tiny, hole-in-the-wall bars found in Ginza. But just as Tokyo’s winding streets change from block to block, Yojimbo offers very different experiences the further you wander into the club.
Behind the cocktail lounge, the party kicks off with a 248 sq. ft. island bar featuring an elevated stage in the middle where geishas, samurai schoolgirls, Harajuku punks, Hannya girls and anime-inspired spirits will entertain clubbers with wild live shows. “Bodyguards” will play a particularly key role in the bar, as it’s named after one of Sutton’s favourite films, the classic 1961 samurai movie Yojimbo.
Echoing the curved lines of the ceiling, the space is lined with sumptuous booths where guests can enjoy bottle service. As the night progresses, the luxurious space is lit by an enormous Rising Sun-inspired LED light installation. At the back of the venue is a VIP booth seating up to 15 guests, with its own entrance, and a separate, smaller dance floor where intimate performances will be held.
Bringing Yojimbo to life every night is DJ Aaron James. An international star, James has opened for iconic musicians including Elton John and Eminem and played alongside DJ favourites such as John Digweed, Mark Ronson and Alex Pall of The Chainsmokers.
In 2017, James moved to Hong Kong to step behind the decks at Yojimbo, where he will showcase his signature style mixing hip hop, trap, booty breaks, dancehall, electro rock and much more. Under the guidance of James and music director, Fab D. Verse, at least two DJs will play every night of the week, taking guests on a musical journey from 6pm to 5am.
At Yojimbo, James will work with DJs and musicians on concepts including “Samurai Night Fever” Saturdays, which will feature ghetto funk, electro rock and future house; “Discozilla” Wednesdays, a hypnotic combination of glitchy disco beats and indie nu disco; and “Harajuku Love Hotel” Thursday Ladies Nights, featuring a classic mix of hip-hop, soul, funk, house and techno.
Yojimbo’s DJs will have the best state-of-the-art sound system in Hong Kong at their disposal. Manufactured in Italy by K-Array, this dynamic clear six-speaker system delivers an enormous 24 kilowatts of power. Combined with a Model One Mixer, Yojimbo’s DJs will ensure that dancers never leave the floor. Yojimbo is the first club in Hong Kong to feature the Model One, a collaboration between Xone’s designer, Andy Rigby-Jones and Canadian Techno-legend Richie Hawtin.
Mixing up the drinks at Yojimbo is Alberto Aldave. Having previously worked at The Rivoli Bar at The Ritz London, where he impressed discerning cocktail lovers including Shirley Bassey and Madonna, Aldave has moved to Hong Kong to create refined cocktails to complement Yojimbo’s bold design and explosive music.
As with the space itself, Yojimbo’s drinks are inspired by Japan. On top of curating a selection of Japanese whiskies, Aldave has created a list of cocktails that use unusual ingredients, flavour combinations and exotic garnishes to pay homage to Japan and the country’s own master mixologists.
Signature cocktails include Yojimbo, which is a mix of sake, gin, yuzu juice, grapefruit bitters and champagne that’s topped with edible flowers; Geisha’s Aphrodisiac, which features calvados, grand marnier, peach puree, lemon, vanilla, grenadine and red currant; and Ninja Shadow, a concoction of caviar infused Belvedere vodka, lemon, white port, elderflower, plum bitters and salt.
With a Japanese cocktail in your hand, dance the night away with all the weird and wonderful fantasies of Japan beneath Yojimbo’s Rising Sun. Kanpai!