Pandemic, politics lead to closure of storied Hong Kong bar

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong bar Club 71, known as a gathering place for pro-democracy activists and intellectuals, is closing. Owner Grace Ma blames government-mandated bar closures and coronavirus restrictions for its financial strain. For decades, Club 71 has been a home for activists and thinkers to engage in open-minded discussions over a beer or two. Customers over the years included singer Denise Ho, filmmaker Christopher Doyle and pro-democracy activist “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung. News of the bar’s imminent closure was disappointing for some of its regulars, who cherished the unique atmosphere and its mix of people. The end also comes as Hong Kong faces unprecedented changes under a sweeping national security law imposed by Beijing in June that has curtailed political expression.