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No Restrictions: Agung and Laura Prabowo on the Inspiration Behind Lockdown | Status On-line

No Restrictions: Agung and Laura Prabowo on the Inspiration Behind Lockdown | Status On-line

A yr after Covid, Agung and Laura Probowo rejoice the top of the pandemic with their newest enterprise, Lockdown. 

When you’ve walked by the nook of Hollywood Highway and Cochrane Avenue not too long ago, you might need seen an odd window show simply beneath the Central-Mid-Ranges escalator. A pristine white rest room bowl sits subsequent to a battered wood ladder, each of which lean towards a mirrored wall. To the left of this unusual setup is a darkish entrance, with a door displaying the phrase “Lockdown,” crossed out with a line by means of it. As inconspicuous as its exterior design is perhaps, what this outer shell holds inside is something however.

Certainly, Lockdown is Agung and Laura Prabowo’s newest enterprise, a mission conceived throughout the peak of the pandemic by the facility couple behind a few of Hong Kong’s most profitable cocktail bars, together with The Previous Man, Useless& and Penicillin. The bar, as they clarify to me, isn’t only a nod to the robust instances we’ve been by means of previously few years, however a celebration of its ending and a welcome to higher days forward. 

“The identify is kind of controversial, we all know, and many individuals would slightly overlook concerning the lockdown,” Agung says. “Some individuals don’t prefer it, as a result of it solely reminds them of the painful experiences, and indirectly it does for all of us, however what Laura and I need to specific is that regardless of the pandemic and people restrictions, we’re nonetheless standing sturdy.”

For bar homeowners and mixologists just like the duo, the previous few years have been just like one other interval in historical past. “I see a variety of parallels between the lockdown for us within the business and the Prohibition Period in america,” Agung explains. “It was a tough time for them too, however to today we nonetheless discuss that interval and all of the superb cocktails that have been created throughout it due to all the restrictions that they had.”

Naturally, the menu is basically impressed by the Prohibition Period. Not like Penicillin, which is best recognized for its sustainability-driven experimental cocktails, Lockdown units its give attention to resurrecting what Agung calls “forgotten classics”, “remastered” by means of the couple’s signature technical aptitude.

“The idea we have now for the cocktails right here may be very completely different from our different bars,” he tells me. “We selected to give attention to drinks that have been developed throughout the Prohibition Period at completely different speakeasys, not solely as a result of that time frame mirrors the pandemic for us, but in addition as a result of most of our common company don’t know a lot about them, and
as bartenders who’ve discovered concerning the historical past of those cocktails, we wished to shine a light-weight on them as soon as once more.”

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“It’s not as difficult as what we do at Penicillin, however we nonetheless use very technical processes to create the drinks at Lockdown,” Laura provides, “as a result of it’s a part of our DNA to make experimental cocktails. Individuals know that, and it’s what they count on from us. On the identical time, we need to respect the heritage of those traditional cocktails, so we wanted to search out the correct stability.”

Among the highlights from the Prabowos’ mission to search out this good stability embrace Stone Fence, a concoction that includes buttered miso bourbon, Pommeau, salted maple syrup, clarified lemon juice, penicillin cider and sliced cucumber, in addition to Left Financial institution, an homage to the neighbourhood of the identical identify that brings collectively Absinthe, crème de menthe inexperienced, port LBV, elderflower St Germaine, clarified lemon juice, fennel pollen vodka and Boston bitter.

Mixed with a stunning art-deco-inspired inside that’s designed to distinction strikingly from the comparatively mundane exterior and a heat group of workers extra welcoming than every other bar we’ve visited recently, all the pieces Lockdown’s about – whether or not or not you’re a fan of the identify – makes evident the tenacity and persevering nature of our metropolis’s dynamic bar scene. 

“We discovered loads from the pandemic,” Agung says. “We noticed so many issues occurring in Hong Kong, nevertheless it made us stronger. We would like individuals to consider the previous two years in the identical approach, which is why our brand exhibits the phrase ‘Lockdown’ crossed out with a line: we’ve moved previous it now, and we’re again higher than ever earlier than.” 

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