Award-winning Australian designer Ashley Sutton is responsible for some of Hong Kong’s hottest nightlife spots: from peacock-themed Ophelia, to metal playground The Iron Fairies, to discreet speakeasy J.Boroski, to the newly unveiled Japanese laser-lit Yojimbo. Sutton also has a planned spot within the long-awaited Central Police Station development and is currently in the midst of a new full-menu concept, Dear Lilly, a romantic-themed restaurant atop ifc mall.
What was your vision for Yojimbo?
The concept for Yojimbo was inspired by my life in Tokyo when I was designing Iron Fairies there. I love Japanese culture – from the drinks, fashion and underground nightlife to the pop culture – and Yojimbo is a coming together of that.
Do you have a favourite of your Hong Kong bars so far?
J.Boroski. I love the use of the different materials and the layout. It’s also just a comfortable space that is not loud; you can easily spend a whole night there.
What can we expect from Dear Lilly?
A romantic, magical florist that provides a calming experience to everyone who visits. This all-day-dining concept will be one of my most intricate projects yet, and I can’t wait to introduce it to Hong Kong. It’s a complete contrast to Yojimbo, which is more minimalistic. Located on the roof of ifc mall, it will be nice and full of flowers – that’s all I’m going to say for now! It will be unlike anything Hong Kong has seen before.
Have you experienced any difficulties with the venue?
We’ve spent three years manufacturing all the materials. I was very specific with what I wanted for this location, and not everyone can make the things I need, so we’ve spent a lot of time creating the right pieces for it.
What factors come into play when you start to conceptualise a new spot?
Location, space and budget. My mind is constantly thinking of new ideas, and sometimes when I see a space, I know exactly which concept will fit that location.
Why have you decided to open so many venues here in Hong Kong?
The nightlife scene in Hong Kong is one of the most vibrant I’ve ever seen. People go out every night of the week, and they’re always looking for something new and exciting.
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