The words “award-winning bartender” typically prefixes any editorialised mention of Beckaly Franks, but the Portland native is already many, many evolutions beyond such epithets. The Pontiac, which has consistently ranked on Asia’s 50 Best Bars since its inception, was Franks’ rock’n’roll raison d’être for moving to Hong Kong in 2015. Since then, she’s opened the live-music oasis, Quality Goods Club, with the Shady Acres team; PONTY CAFé, the daytime complement to The Pontiac (also perched on the slope of Old Bailey Street); and Call Me Al, a soon-to-launch concept built alongside wife – and yet another bar legend – Ezra Star.
“Everyone knows my motto is ‘Commit to the lit’,” she says, the battle cry emblazoned in neon behind the taps of The Pontiac. “It means committing to yourself. Committing to the light inside of you. Committing to showing up and challenging yourself to become the person you know deserve to be.” And beyond shaking up a storm across some of the city’s favourite late-night haunts? “I want to become a Darksynth DJ,” she says, laughing.