Because drinks in Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong nightlife area are pricey, (averaging around $80 HKD per drink, a little over $10 USD,) students, young people, and the budget-conscious often congregate outside of several 7-11 convenience stores situated in the neighborhood to pre-party.
Hong Kong doesn’t have open container laws, which means that you can walk almost anywhere with an alcoholic drink. (This includes standing on the street, or, believe it or not, even traveling in a car.)
Big nights in Lan Kwai Fong often translate into big business for the 7-11’s located nearby (and there are at least four!) Throughout the night there are long lines to checkout, as people in various stages of inebriation stop in for a purchase.
The economics of pre-partying at 7-11 are straightforward – instead of paying $125 HKD for two beers in a typical bar or club, you can purchase two low-priced beers for just $12.50 at 7-11.
While a certain segment of partygoers are delighted by the inexpensive drinks, club owners are somewhat frustrated, as they are paying high rents, forced to abide by all sorts of laws, and are being undermined by drinks at one-tenth the price.
You can tell that there’s been a major night in Lan Kwai Fong from the scene around 7-11. The aftermath for a typical weekend night is a street littered with bottles, perhaps a person or two slumped against a neighboring doorway, and the occasional puddle of vomit.
The tradition of going to 7-11 to hang out and drink even has its own nickname – it’s jokingly referred to as going to ‘Club 7-11‘.