Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hidden Bars in Singapore

by Lim Kairen

The mention of elusive and private spaces for the higher echelons in society brews images of hidden doors, black suits and ties, and the illicit deals made during the night over lavish cocktails. Big cities are boasting about their increasing extravagant night life locations for high rolling executives, made even more exclusive by the invite-only guest lists justified by their premium prices.

But exclusivity in nightlife is not entirely out of reach for those who know of the right places to search. To make things easier for the party revellers who needs a bit of tuning down from their usual watering holes, we have sussed out a few of the best chill-out bars hidden away in tiny obscure pockets on the streets of Singapore which will all the more make you feel a little special having succeeded in finding them.

Night and Day Bar galleryGoing to a bar doesn’t get more sophisticated and nostalgic than what Night and Day Bar (139 A/C Selegie Road Singapore 188309) has to offer; an art gallery featuring works of local artists on level four, an architecture gallery on the third and a bar on level two. You wouldn’t quite know what to expect when walking up the deliberately preserved marble mosaic tiled staircase which you would find in the kitchens of very old HDB flats and the black and white illustrations drawn onto both walls. You might then sigh with a sense of awe or relief having reached the bar to know that are places where the terms serenity, rustic charm and alcohol still co-exists. Night and Day almost resembles a Manhattan warehouse bar tucked in a multi-level shop house which doesn’t need more than two words to sum up the whole experience: casual and vintage.

28 Hong Kong Street Bar
28 Hong Kong Street is almost non-existent to most Singaporeans as it takes being “hidden” to the next level. With no signage, advertisements, disallowed media exposure and a no-photography rule, the only way to have found out about 28 Hong Kong Street is through word-of-mouth or a sheer sense of curiosity. The entrance of this “North Korea” of bars is equivocally lit by a single strip of ambient lamp and once you step inside, a tall backdrop of black curtains makes this bar even more evasive. The waitresses will be quick to assign you seats as you begin your night away in seclusion being hidden away from the face of this earth and mixology heaven.

It is no surprise that bars with views in Singapore are usually jam-packed with party-goers during the weekends. There is nothing more enchanting than having a cocktail in one hand and being perched high up on a sky scraper looking down on the breathtaking views of the Singapore city landscape. But the Mad Men Attic Bar (11 North Canal Road, #03-02) like other rooftop bars in Singapore seeks to be unpretentious and casual in its interior as well as customer approach, however it is a little harder to find. Revealed only upon stepping out a tiny elevator in an alleyway at 11 North Canal Road, the bar stays true to its tagline – “Get Merry, Go Mad” – as adopted from its sister bar at Robertson Quay, The Merry Men Kitchen + Bar with a fun and warming atmosphere made as such by its live bands, straightforward cocktails and a really cosy feel.  

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