With the weather warming up, I recently revisited a classic Hong Kong nightspot, the rooftop of the Fringe Club. Located just above Lan Kwai Fong, at the intersection of Wyndham Street, Glenealy, and Lower Albert Road, the Fringe Club is a landmark institution in Hong Kong. It occupies one of the only remaining old stone buildings left in the city. With art shows and occasional live performances, the place has supplied fringe entertainment to H.K. for years.
One of the secrets of the Fringe Club is that it has a large outdoor rooftop that makes for a great break from the noisy bars in Lan Kwai Fong. On the rooftop, you’re away from the claustrophobic confines and elbow-jostling of the bars below. Around you is a cut-away view of Central that includes the Mid-Levels neighborhood off to one side. The unique positioning of the rooftop and its location within the heart of the city, make it a sort of urban oasis. The thatched-roof mini-bar and green “grass” carpeting add to this effect.
The rooftop includes around twelve no-frills round tables and chairs that are perfect for hanging out for a casual drink with friends.
The crowd is about an even mixture of locals and foreigners. Weekend nights can get crowded, so go early to grab a table if you’re planning to make it your main destination of the evening.
To get up to the rooftop, you enter from Lower Albert Road. (Hollywood Rd. turns into Wyndham St. which then fades into Lower Albert Road if you continue straight after the intersection.) To your left, look for the large open doorway with stairs going up.
You know you’ve walked too far down if you find yourself in front of the Fringe Club gallery windows, or the F.C.C.
After walking up the flight of stairs you’ll need to open a door on your right and climb another short staircase.
From here you open a door and you’re in a cafe / gallery space.
Walk towards the front, and you’ll find the main bar where you can order your drinks. From here you can exit outside to the rooftop. There are a few tables directly outside of the bar, but these lack the view and ambiance of the main rooftop which is accessible from a short staircase just to your right as you walk out.
The Fringe Club rooftop is perfect for one of those nights when you’re sick of your clubbing routine but want to meet up with a group and actually talk, rather than dance and party.
The Fringe Club address:
2 Lower Albert Road
(just above Lan Kwai Fong nightlife area, near Wyndham Street)
Central, Hong Kong