Believe it or not, I haven’t been around the bar area in Wanchai in almost a month. (I’ll probably make up for that this coming week.) I’d heard that Neptune 2 had closed, the reason being that their liquor license wasn’t renewed. Today the closing was mentioned in the SCMP.
Legendary Wan Chai haunt Neptune II has been shut down, with the Liquor Licensing Board refusing to issue it a new licence.
The basement club in Jaffe Road, established in 1993, was one of the most popular dance clubs in the city. However, for the past two weeks its shutters have been pulled down and its doors closed.
Okay, I suppose this isn’t a huge news story (though I do know a lot of people who will consider this massive) but it took them two weeks to notice?
Staff at its sister bar – Neptune III in Lockhart Road – said Neptune II was closed for renovation, but considering that it is the busiest time of the year for the city’s nightspots, this seemed unlikely.
These were sisters who did not get along that well.
The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department later confirmed that Neptune II’s bar licence had not been renewed, but did not give a reason.
Did the reporter bother to ask?
The real reason for its closure is understood to be much less controversial, with an industry source revealing that its liquor licence was turned down because of overcrowding.
“The Buildings Department and Fire Services Department would have put a capacity limit on it for its bar licence, as it is in the basement and not on a ground floor. Anything that is upstairs or in a basement has a capacity limit put on it, for safety reasons, and this is what happened here,” the source revealed. “They consistently flouted this capacity limit over the years, and the Liquor Licensing Board was left with no other option but to close it.”
It doesn’t sound as if it’s going to return, does it? Of course one of many things could happen, including someone else renting out the space and continuing the tradition (or not) or perhaps the current owners forming a new company, changing the name of the bar and applying for a new liquor license.
I don’t like to think about how many hours (or dollars) I spent there back in the day. Nothing is forever.