HONG KONG–It may be 8,000 miles away from the original and taken a full decade, but cocktail bar Please Don’t Tell has expanded to a second location.
After trial-running a pop-up with the Landmark Mandarin Oriental hotel in Hong Kong two years ago, PDT has returned and this time for good–taking up a modestly-sized space that lies upstairs from the hotel’s plush after-work favorite, MO Bar.
While fellow New York cocktail bar Employees Only also opened a Hong Kong offshoot last year, along with further expansion internationally in cities including Singapore and Panama City, PDT’s Jim Meehan insists that “expansion was never part of the plan.”
“After our wildly successful pop-up in the same space a couple years ago, we knew there was great potential in Hong Kong,” he explained. Eventually the team felt that “the opportunity to partner with Mandarin Oriental and work with [Michelin Star-winning chef] Richard Ekkebus and his team again was too good to pass up.”
At the new location, PDT has installed Malaika Suarez and Adam Schmidt from New York, although “Jeff Bell and I will be coming out quarterly to work on new menus and to promote the bar,” he said.
Unlike the New York one, a subterranean space which is hidden behind a raucous hot dog stand, the entrance to PDT in Hong Kong is via the sleek lobby of the hotel and lies past a phone booth facade.
So far, no single cocktail has dominated guests’ orders–“last week, we had four different cocktails top the sales report,” Meehan said. But he recommends some new Adam Schmidt creations that are unique to the location: Big Fan, a spicy shandy garnished with an aromatic pomelo “fan” that alludes to the Mandarin’s logo, or the Big Hunter, which blends whisky, champagne, and the Asian fruit, longan.
Or the peckish could try the just-for-Hong Kong dog comprised of a pork sausage, cabbage, shrimp, scallions, and a dash of XO mayonnaise on a bun.
Don’t expect to see PDT popping up all over the globe anytime soon, however.
“We will evaluate all opportunities, but at this time, there are no plans to add new locations,” Meehan said. “The main goal right now is to realize our potential in Hong Kong and New York.”