I recently received an email from a friend in Hong Kong who had seen the sad news in the local edition of Time Out. The article read “Goodbye Joe Bananas – get down for a pint and bid farewell to this Wanchai institution – it’s closing tomorrow (February 22) after decades of business. We hear that a new bar will pop-up very soon in its place.” Joe Bananas is part of leather industry folklore when the APLF is in town.

For many people, Joe Bananas has been the main social meeting place and post-show networking venue during the APLF for many years and I will not be alone in missing it when I attend the show this year. I have to say that the bar itself is more than a bit seedy and there are many better places to get a drink in Hong Kong. However, it will be forever etched in hearts of many in the industry who enjoyed lots of fun, stories and laughs in “JBs” when the leather industry comes to Hong Kong every year.

So it’s goodbye Joe Bananas and hello to the bar that will be there in its place when the APLF takes place, March 31 – April 2. See you there. If the new bar is no good no doubt the industry will soon find a new Joe Bananas!

Martin Ricler