It’s difficult to fathom a time when The Pontiac, Central’s favourite neighbourhood dive (No. 31 on Asia 50’s Best Bars this year) wasn’t around. Since opening in 2015, the diminutive Mid-Levels bar has attained must-visit status amongst an eclectic and devoted clientele. On any given day there, you’re likely to rub shoulders with drinks industry veterans, journalists, corporate types and good ol’ fashioned lushes. The rock’n’roll inflected dive’s unpretentious service, approachable pricing and championship of sustainability have variously solidified its reputation as a great go-to local.
Conceived by the Roopchand brothers (of Rummin’ Tings & Fratelli fame) and “First Lady of Mixology” Beckaly Franks, there’s a palpable come-as-you-are sensibility that, to this day, suffuses the bar’s gritty onyx countertops. To mark three years on Old Bailey Street, The Pontiac recently revamped its menu: showcasing eight new cocktails that tear down the roof with their strong flavours, drinkability (“11 points on the crush scale” says Franks) and cheeky monikers. The new menu is legitimately replete with some of the best mixed drinks we’ve sampled all year. Here are five to get you started.