Beckaly Franks wins Bartenders’ Bartender Award in Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2023

Hong Kong bar legend and co-founder of The Pontiac Beckaly Franks has been named the Altos Bartender’s Bartender in Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2023.

Alongside The Pontiac, Franks has co-founded the Hong Kong bars Call Me Al, Ponty Café and Artifact, since moving to the city in 2015.

The Bartenders’ Bartender Award is the only peer-judged award in the Asia’s 50 Best Bars programme and the second of two awards announced ahead of the awards ceremony, which will take place in Hong Kong on 18 July.

“Beckaly is truly an inspiration to her peers for the work she does and the support she gives to the Hong Kong hospitality scene,” said Mark Sansom, content director for Asia’s 50 Best Bars.

“A highly skilled bartender, serial entrepreneur, mentor to many and champion of inclusivity, Beckaly can be credited for creating her own very distinct brand and is regarded as something of a legend in the world of great cocktails.

“Since moving from the US, she has called Hong Kong home for over eight years and has in this relatively short span become one of the most recognised faces and respected talents in Asia’s bar community. She is truly deserving of the Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award”.

Franks moved to Hong Kong in 2015 to open The Pontiac, a rock and roll cocktail venue inspired by the neighbourhood bars in her hometown of Portland, Oregon.

It’s one of a number of bar concepts within her company Hungry Ghost which she created in collaboration with her wife, Ezra Star.

On winning the Bartenders’ Bartender Award, Franks said: "Bartending is a privilege, not a right. I have been fortunate enough to be able to aggressively follow my heart and my passion for taking care of people in my own way, and I am grateful to be recognised for it with this award.

“Bartending has rightfully consumed the majority of my adult life and provided me with a world of opportunity that most wouldn’t dream of. It is a wild ride and I only hope to honour the relationship between the bar and the guest as much as it has honoured me.

“It is not easy work; you have to love it. I have always loved tending bars and I always will.”

The eighth edition of Asia’s 50 Best Bars will be unveiled on 18 July 2023 at an awards ceremony in Hong Kong. The live countdown will also be streamed on The World’s 50 Best Bars Facebook and 50 Best Bars TV YouTube Channel.