We recently caught up with Bryson Rivera one of Hong Kong’s leading bartenders. Since our last meeting a few years back, he has now opened his own tattoo studio Circuit Square, while managing the beverage program at Bar Q88. If you need a tattoo in Hong Kong, Bryson’s your guy.
Are you still work behind a bar in Hong Kong?
Yes, I still work at the JW Marriott Hotel as the Beverage Operations Manager based at the Bar Q88 – Lobby Lounge. Ronnie has also recently joined us as a bartender at the newly opened Marriott at the ocean park.
How did your idea for Circuit Square Tattoo & Co come to reality?
We started to plan back in 2004 when we both used to work at Aqua Spirit. Ronnie and I shared a flat together, and he had been tattooing at his home studio.
I had nothing to do at home, so I started to list all the tattoo equipment/tools and rent, to work out much we would need to make this happen.
We also needed to come up with a theme for the tattoo studio. I’ve always been a fan of barber shops, so I thought a barbershop decor and theme offers a welcoming atmosphere especially for bartenders.
What is the vision and ethos for Circuit Square Tattoo & Co?
Our long term vision is to collaborate with bars doing tattoo and cocktail pop ups serving Sailor Jerry Rum cocktails and making a tattoo. Now we’re currently focusing on Hong Kong. Next, we will target Manila and extend the brand to the Philippines.
If you could tattoo and mix a drink for any bartender in the world, who would it be?
I met this Italian guy twice, both in Shanghai and Hong Kong, several years ago by the name of Simone Caporale. It would be great to host people like him as he’s got plenty of tattoos and a love for rums.
What style of drinks are served at Circuit Square Tattoo & Co?
At the studio we do not serve alcoholic beverages unless requested, the fun part is during our pop-ups.
Does Ronnie have a particular tattoo style? What tattoos does he most enjoy creating?
Ronnie enjoys cartoons and biomechanical.
Are you also a tattoo artist?
No, but I know the basics. I learnt to tattoo in 2004 and have done a few.
What’s next for Bryson and Ronnie?
To expand in Manila! A tattoo studio by the beach. A cocktail bar with a tattoo studio extension is the vision.