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Photos: Angela Leung

Lucky Mart Serves Cheap And Easy Highballs Out Of A Convenience Store

By May 9, 2020 Nightlife


If you stumbled down Fumin Lu sometime in the last month looking for cigarettes at the Alldays, you may have accidentally walked into Lucky Mart. This is Camden Hauge's newest thing, in cooperation with design studio Wolfbelly and Dawn (The Odd Couple) manning the soda pumps. It's a Japanese bar dressed up to look like a convenience store. They do not sell cigarettes. Instead, they specialize in highballs, Japanese konbini snacks, highballs, cup noodles, hotdogs, highballs and highballs. They've been open since early-mid April, but that doesn't counts because they only just got a bathroom installed. We're going to say the first month of operation was some avante-garde performance art piece titled "Watering The Neighbors."

Lucky Mart — wait no

That's the one

A poem.

White porcelain throne
What joy lies in your cistern
Flush my wee away

They do food! Bar snack food. Fish ball skewers, some hot dogs, sweet and savory sandos... I'm not a huge fan of mayonnaise or white bread, but people I know with functional tastebuds enjoyed the potato salad with nori and a soft boiled egg. The Okonomiyaki Hot Dog requires two hands and a forklift to devour, and the fried chicken Karaage is aces. Most of it's about 35rmb. Most everything in here is about 35rmb. Those cup noodles start looking real tempting when you're four highballs deep and just hitting your stride, even if they are 25rmb before toppings. Baaaah you're not here to eat anyway!

You're here to drink. You're here to stand around and drink highballs. The house special is made with Dawn's own blend of whiskys — Dawn's Mix, if you will — and soda they shake up behind the bar in reusable plastic bottles, all stirred directly into a big glass. No fancy highball machines, Lucky Mart is strictly analogue. No dainty highball glasses, this comes in a mug with a handle. It's great, and it's also 35rmb.

You could sit and drink that one all night long and have a good time you won't remember but might regret, or you can class up your soda with progressively more expensive liquor. 58rmb for the second shelf (Dewar's 12, Chivas Regal, Suntory), 88rmb for the third (Laphroaig, Talisker), more on the top shelf (Yamazaki, Glenfarclas, Highland Park).

Or Mizuwari! Or Oyuwari, shochu with hot water, or this cool thing they do with umeshu (plum wine) and homemade umeboshi soda. Called an Umeboshi Hai? Tastes like salted plum. Excellent stuff. So much versatility in such a simple formula. God, highballs! What an amazing drink you are! Whisky is good, water (often carbonated) is good, combine the two, add ice, stir, drink, repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Lucky Mart! It's cheap, it's friendly, it's open late, and it wants you to stay hydrated. Doctors recommend eight pint glasses a day.



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