New nightclubs in Singapore hope to hit the right note with partygoers

Several new nightspots have sprung up in recent months for Singapore's partygoers to get their groove on

Whether you are a trancehead or a grungy hip-hopper, an electronic dance music (EDM) devotee or disco fan, there is a club for every taste for Singapore's party people.

With the ebb and flow of Singapore's fickle nightlife scene, new clubs are constantly popping up while old ones die out due to the competition.

But in recent months, a crop of new nightspots has sprung up, giving Singaporeans several new places to let their hair down.

Given the realities of space-tight Singapore, some of them have taken over long-standing homes of former clubs, so it is a case of same place, different owner, decor and music.

For example, new funky chinoiserie-decored mao took over the Cecil Road home of former underground club Kyo, and LGBTQ-friendly club Peaches occupies the York Hotel basement that housed the young and hip Cherry Discotheque. Cherry will be moving to an as-yet-undecided new location at the start of next year.

Shanghai mega club Bar Rouge has replaced New Asia Bar at Swissotel The Stamford.

On the other side of the island, former Sentosa beach club Azzura is now Ola Beach Club, a home for water-sport activities in the day and beachfront parties at night.

But there are also brand-new spaces such as the Millenia Walk location of upcoming club Avry, which is dedicated to dance music and has an aviary theme. The club is set to open early this month.

January will see the entry of Lavo Singapore, a multi-faceted "vibe dining" concept atop Marina Bay Sands (MBS) Tower 1, that combines a restaurant, lounge and nightclub. The venture is a collaboration between Las Vegas Sands-owned MBS and American nightlife, entertainment and dining outfit Tao Group.


Bar Rouge

Where: Levels 71 & 72, Equinox Complex, Swissotel The Stamford, 2 Stamford Road

Open: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8pm to 3am; Thursdays, 8pm to 4am; Fridays and Saturdays, 8pm to 5am

Info: Call 9177-7307 or e-mail Bar.Rouge@swissotel.com

Entry: No cover charge on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Thursdays, $25 for men with one drink, free for women. Fridays and Saturdays, $25 for both men and women with one drink. Free entry before 10.30pm


The 4,300 sq ft club has one central bar with a cloud-shaped installation as well as raised performer cages (above) and platforms. Around $2 million was spent on its renovation. PHOTO: COLOSSAL

Bathed in red neon lights and fitted with cages for dancers, Bar Rouge now holds court on the 71st and 72nd floors of Swissotel The Stamford, taking over long-standing New Asia Bar.

Opened in September, this new establishment is an offshoot of the famous 13-year-old Shanghai club of the same name that is consistently ranked as one of the top nightspots in the city.

Bar Rouge Singapore was brought in by Fairmont Singapore and Swissotel The Stamford. They also previously ran New Asia Bar.

Mr Joern Schwaiger, 39, executive assistant manager of food and beverage at Fairmont Singapore and Swissotel The Stamford, says: "Over the last few years, New Asia Bar had lost its momentum and we thought we could rejuvenate the space by bringing in an iconic Chinese brand that's very popular in China."

The 4,300 sq ft club has one central bar with a cloud-shaped installation as well as raised performer cages and platforms. Around $2 million was spent on its renovation.

The music is hip-hop and open format, which means a mix of EDM, house, dance and trance.

Service is attentive, but discreet, as befitting a five-star hotel atmosphere. The clientele skews mature, with many working professionals and big spenders.


Peaches

Where: B2 York Hotel, 21 Mount Elizabeth

Open: Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10pm to 3am; Thursdays, 8pm to midnight

Info: E-mail peaches@herenowconcepts.com

Entry: Free on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Fridays and Saturdays, $28, includes one drink; $20 for students and NSFs, includes one drink


A quote by iconic drag queen Rupaul Charles - "If you can't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?" - is emblazoned in neon lights (above) over the dance floor at Peaches. PHOTO: PEACHES

A quote by iconic drag queen Rupaul Charles - "If you can't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?" - is emblazoned in neon lights over the dance floor at Peaches - an LGBTQ-friendly club that has taken over the space occupied by Cherry Discotheque.

Opened last month, it is run by the same club operator, Here Now Concepts, which was behind Cherry. A new incarnation of Cherry will open early next year in an as-yet-undisclosed location.

The club plays top 40 hits, R&B and progressive house music and hosts drag shows, usually on Fridays.

"If there's one word to sum it all up, it's fun - the music we play, the acts we have and even the people who go there are all just looking for fun," says the club's director Jerls Su.

"People don't necessarily go there for the music, they go for the experience," he adds.


mao

Where: B1-02 Keck Seng Tower, 133 Cecil Street

Open: The bar is open Mondays to Fridays, 5pm to 12am. The club is open on Thursdays and Fridays, 10pm to 3am; and on Saturdays, 10pm to 4am

Info: Call 9088-2453 or e-mail mao@herenowconcepts.com

Entry: Free for women on Thursdays, $25 with one drink for men. On Fridays and Saturdays, $20 with one drink for women, $25 with one drink for men


There are 147 red Chinese lanterns above the main foyer of mao, located on Cecil Street. PHOTO: MAO

Taking over from the former basement club Kyo is mao, a red and concrete-coloured nightspot. From the 144 red lanterns that line the foyer to the neon signs that pepper the space, the club's Asian decor belies its edgy music offerings: disco, house, garage, funk and soul alongside techno, trip-hop and broken beats.

The 6,000 sq ft club opens officially on Dec 8, but business has already started with a soft launch last month.

The club is owned by club operator Here Now Concepts, which also runs the retro Cherry Discotheque formerly located at the basement of York Hotel. Cherry is moving to a new location.

Here Now Concepts' director Jerls Su, 27, says that while many clubs play commercial electronic dance music and Top 40s tunes, "there's no club of this size that plays house or disco house music".

"There are a lot of small parties that are doing it, but not a lot of clubs that support this genre and we would like to contribute in that way, with quality house music for a discerning crowd."

Club nights at the 500-capacity venue run from Thursdays to Saturdays.

Thursday is ladies' night, with free flow of vodka cranberry as well as gin and tonic for three hours and old-school hip-hop and R&B.

Friday is Basement Soul night, featuring house music with resident DJ Matty Wainwright, while Saturday is 4/Four night, spinning techno and experimental sounds.

Mao opens earlier than its predecessor in the same space, as it wants to be an after-work drinks spot. From 5pm to midnight, there are $8 happy-hour deals on beer, wine and house pours as part of its opening promotion.

The peckish should check out its kitchen in a cordoned-off area of the club. It serves a limited bar bites menu with items such as truffle fries and lobster rolls.


Ola Beach Club

Where: 46 Siloso Beach Walk, Sentosa

Open: Mondays to Fridays, 10am to 10pm; Saturdays, 9am to midnight; Sundays, 9am to 10pm

Info: Call 6265-5966 or e-mail aloha@olabeachclub.com

Entry: Free, except for special events

In the day, this Hawaiian-themed club on Siloso beach is a family-friendly destination with watersports activities such as water-propelled jet blading. At night and on weekends, it turns into a party destination for adults.

It has both indoor and outdoor seating. Outside, you can move from the airy terrace to a private cabana or day bed to get a tan, or jump in the pool to cool off.

The beach club has hosted a number of prominent dance music acts. A double-bill with Dutch DJ duo Showtek and Swedish DJ Otto Knows attracted around 1,500 guests in August.

Managing director Christina Tran, 38, hopes Ola Beach Club, with its vibe that spans the genres of house, nu-disco, Latin and Afro-Brazilian music, will become "a unique quick getaway destination... only 15 minutes from the CBD".

Its weekly Lei'd Sunday parties run from 2 to 10pm with champagne and oyster promotions, beer pong, fun floats for the pool and DJs spinning.

The regular menu features Hawaiian cuisine and an all-day breakfast section. The drinks menu features a long cocktail section. Highlights include the rum-based tropical Tiki cocktails (from $18). You can also customise the Bloody Mary ($15) at a special station.


Avry

Where: 02-02 Millenia Walk, 9 Raffles Boulevard

Open: Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10pm to 5am

Info: Call 9111-2868 or e-mail contact@avry.club

Entry: Wednesdays, $28 with one drink, free entry for women. Fridays and Saturdays, $35 for both men and women with one drink

Singapore's newest club is a luxe, avian-themed 6,000 sq ft space called Avry. Opening on Dec 15, it features gilded bird cages over VIP booths, an 11m-long bar and a Dom Perignon VIP Lounge Booth made of hundreds of illuminated bottles of the French champagne.

Located at Millenia Walk, Avry has an adjoining cocktail bar Hairy Canary, an after-work drinks spot with cocktails and bar bites available from Mondays to Saturdays.

Avry was set up by four partners. Mr Alex Chew and Mr Raj Datwani are executive producers of dance music festival, Ultra Singapore, and owners of one-Michelin-starred restaurant The Kitchen at Bacchanalia and business club Madison Rooms. Mr John Bosco Lopez and Mr Philip Poon are behind some of Singapore's most famous night-spots, including themembers-only Filter Club in Nanson Road.

Avry, set up at a cost of "a few million dollars", is geared towards a mix of working professionals and dance music fans. The music is open format and hip-hop. Mr Poon says the club's name came from the idea of "birds of a feather, flock together".

Mr Chew said: "We're targeting like-minded people who want to hang out and party... Avry, like a bird sanctuary, is where we want people to feel safe and at home."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2017, with the headline 'Fresh spin on clubs'. Print Edition | Subscribe