A Q&A with the minds behind RightSideUp – bringing retro Americana to Peel Street

TMS caught up with the creative minds behind RightSideUp to learn more about the inspiration behind this new spot on Peel Street.

A Q&A with the minds behind RightSideUp – bringing retro Americana to Peel Street
Source: RightSideUp

In the bustling and vibrant city of Hong Kong, Peel Street has become a hotspot for nightlife because of its plethora of unique bars and restaurants. Among the newest additions to this lively scene is RightSideUp, a retro Americana-themed bar that promises to transport patrons back in time with its nostalgic atmosphere, classic comfort food and innovative cocktails.

Led by the team behind Uncle Miguel, Honey Hot and WESTCOAST Cafe and partnering with head chef Anil Ghale and mixologist Rahul Gurung, RightSideUp aims to be a world where nostalgia meets old-school cool.

“RightSideUp embodies the spirit of old-school Americana,” says Chef Ghale. “Our menu fuses classic American flavors with modern twists, ensuring each dish speaks to the heart.” Mixologist Gurung adds, “Each drink is crafted to transport guests to a time when music was soulful, the vibes carefree and flavors irresistible.”

Start with the crispy fried pickles paired with jalapeño ranch, classic Buffalo Blues with blue cheese dip or the visually stunning Million Layer Potatoes with truffle mayo and tobiko. For mains, enjoy the Spicy Baked Ziti with tomato sauce, spicy beef mince, parmesan and mozzarella. Meat lovers can dig into the iconic Baby Got Back Ribs or the Highway to Hell Burger with beef patties, house sauce and ghost and cherry peppers.

TMS caught up with the creative minds behind RightSideUp to learn more about the inspiration behind this new spot on Peel Street, from the elements that Hong Kongers will love about it to their vision for the bar's future. Read on for more from the RightSideUp team about the charm of retro Americana, the dynamic vibe of Peel Street and what makes RightSideUp a must-visit spot to hit up on your next night out in the city.

Q: Why open a retro Americana-themed bar in Hong Kong? What was the inspiration?

Firstly, we really liked the idea of a music room and bar with vinyl and old-school music. We wanted to create a nostalgic space where people can come with friends and family for a good time that also has excellent food and music. 

Q: What elements of retro Americana are incorporated into RightSideUp’s atmosphere? 

RightSideUp's interiors are heavily inspired by retro themes, from the patterned comfortable booths found in American diners to shimmering mirror balls reminiscent of the disco era. We have framed records on the walls of throwback tunes like The Rolling Stones and Bee Gees, so music from bygone eras always accompanies diners here.

RightSideUp Hong Kong
Source: RightSideUp

Q: Why choose Peel Street for the location? What kind of locals do you think are really going to dig the whole vibe at RightSideUp?

Peel Street is renowned for its vibrant atmosphere and is often celebrated as a lively drinking spot, so it was a natural choice as our previous ventures, Uncle Miguel and Honey Hot, are next door, too. With the addition of RightSideUp, we want to contribute to the vibrant food and drink scene on Peel Street by offering another distinct dining experience. We strive to complement the existing great food places in the area, aiming to create a reputation for Peel Street as a destination that not only highlights an energetic ambience but also provides a delightful combination of delicious and satisfying food with incredible drink options.

RightSideUp will resonate with locals who appreciate hearty bites paired with exceptional drinks. The lively and dynamic crowd that Peel Street attracts provides the perfect backdrop for our unique dining experience. We can't wait to welcome everyone and share our passion for great food and fantastic drinks.

Q: Are there any unique twists on traditional American recipes and drinks that you’ve included to cater to local palates?

Our head chef, Anil Ghale, has meticulously crafted the menu to showcase a variety of American comfort food favorites such as burgers, hotdogs, mac 'n' cheese and slow-cooked tender ribs that are beloved by all. Anil's culinary expertise shines through with his inclusion of unique twists on classic dishes, catering to local palates. For example, he has incorporated the ever-growing popularity of smash burgers into the menu, offering a fiery version with the Highway to Hell Burger, as well as a vegan option with The Impossible Burger.

Alongside our food offerings, our cocktail menu, curated by head mixologist Rahul Gurung, is a testament to creativity and taste. Rahul has expertly crafted a beverage menu that celebrates classic cocktails like the Bee's Knees while also introducing quirky concoctions that turn bites into sips with the Philly Martini. There are also playful twists in the mix, as seen in the Disco Julep.

RightSideUp Hong Kong
The Colonel's Sandwich. Source: RightSideUp

Q: Can you share a memorable story or moment from the bar’s opening night?

We were thrilled to have such a great turnout from friends, family and our regulars from Uncle Miguel, a door over. It was terrific to finally open our doors for everyone to try out the drinks and some of the mouth-watering food the RightSideUp team has been working on.

Q: What are your short-term and long-term visions for the bar?

After the great turnout at the opening party, our immediate focus is on delivering consistently exceptional service and delicious food at RightSideUp. Our main goal is to build a strong presence in the neighborhood, building a reputation for outstanding hospitality and dining experiences. With the dedicated support of our experienced team, we aim to create a fun and casual atmosphere where guests can relax and enjoy themselves.

Looking ahead, the long-term vision for RightSideUp, alongside our other ventures like Uncle Miguel and Honey Hot, is to position it as the go-to destination for American comfort food and creative cocktails. By leveraging our expertise in crafting flavorful dishes and innovative drinks, we aim to foster a reputation as a dynamic and enticing establishment for both locals and visitors.

Q: Is there anything else in the works you’d like to share with readers about RightSideUp?

We have a lot of exciting things in store for RightSideUp that we can’t wait to share. Soon, we’ll be introducing a hearty indulgent American brunch, perfect for weekends. We have big celebrations planned for the upcoming 4th of July next month, where we hope to create a festive atmosphere to mark the occasion in Hong Kong’s Peel Street.

RightSideUp Hong Kong
Source: RightSideUp

Quick facts

  • Where – 53 Peel Street, Soho, Central
  • When – 
    • Tuesday to Friday, 5 p.m. - 1 a.m.
    • Saturday and Sunday, 3 p.m. - 1 a.m.
    • Closed on Mondays
  • Price – $$-$$$
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