No Squares at Qlub Qube

The chichi new private club called Qlub Qube (cute name!!) on Hong Kong’s Wyndham Street, just outside of Lan Kwai Fong, is “a place at home for international jet-setting guests from all over the world,” according to the club’s membership pitch.

“Discretion,” the club says, “is our key principle.” Membership gets complimentary limousine pickup and drop-off services. It gets entrée to the Private Salon, an exclusive area reserved for the club’s most elite members, who are allowed to “bask in the exhilarating and crowded ambiance without the need to compromise on their personal space.”

It also apparently gives the chance to park illegally, or have a valet do it, and block the sidewalk just 200 meters from the Central Government offices and about the same distance to Government House, the residence of Chief Executive Donald Tsang, who – along with his police force – appears not to notice. In other cities in Asia, that wouldn’t matter. If you can get away from the car before somebody shouts at you, you can probably leave it there all day, with a kid to watch over it. But in Hong Kong, with its orderly and vigilant law enforcement, these things don’t happen right under the noses of government officials and police, who patrol that area regularly. A photographer friend snapped some pictures to illustrate.

Asia Sentinel called Marcus Leung, the spokesman and key shareholder of Qlub Qube, to ask, and he promised to return the call. He didn’t.

On most days, the employees of the new club have been occupying a large part of a narrow sidewalk. Very posh cars sit outside not only directly under large No Parking signs and obstructing a busy bus stop, forcing buses to stop in the middle of the road, holding up traffic and endangering bus users. Nor is this just a late-night occurrence. The obstructions of the pavement, the placement of the cars on the bus stop, are often there soon after 7 pm when traffic congestion in the central district is still high.

Click on images for a larger view.

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Qlub Qube employs receptionists who stand at desks placed on the pavement itself. Heavy-set bouncers are also in evidence, ready not only to keep unwanted patrons away but to discourage members of the general public who object to the obstruction of the pavement.

Several of the same cars are there night after night, including a yellow Ferrari with the license plate W BROS, a Range Rover with the plate MY STAR, and that gas-guzzling quasi-military vehicle, a Hummer.

Querying the obstruction of the bus stop by these vehicles, Asia Sentinel was told in none too polite terms that “very important people are inside.” They must be important and rich indeed to be able to prevail on the police night after night to allow them ignore the law and obstruct the road, the bus stop and the pedestrians.

Meanwhile, those being crowded off the sidewalk can imagine what’s going on inside. There is the Cliquot Loveseat Corner in the VIP Lounge, a chair of which only 120 exist in the world. The loveseat, “expresses values that resonate with those of the Club: intense colors, elegant lines, attentive care and a refined presentation.”

This, Qube tells us, is “where the beautiful people hang out at night and emerge in the early morning. Party to all genres of music, Hip Hop, House, Underground, Overground, Techno, Electro, R&B or the ethereal soundscapes of Chill in Qube’s superbly decorated bar. World renowned DJs have been scheduled to perform regularly. Live DJ sets commence daily from ten at night to four in the morning. Mingle and enjoy the drinks while preparing for the excitement you are about to experience.”

And, when you do emerge onto the sidewalk at 4 am, your Ferrari will be waiting for you, right in that no-parking zone. Thus Hong Kong is becoming accustomed to Donald Tsang’s version of a business-friendly government.