Say hello to chic eateries and cool fashion digs in the Haji Lane area

Check out these places which have opened in the past year.

LONGPLAY

Nzneri28e

A bar that prides itself as a vinyl-only joint, offering classic cocktails and gourmet bites. Opened by the same folks behind popular restaurants and bars such as Pollen, Esquina and The Study, the 50-capacity venue offers a spot where audiophiles can enjoy quality tipple and old-school tunes on vinyl, from jazz to motown.

Order this: Try the Rock Island Iced Tea (gin, vodka, rum, tequila, curacao, and lemon, $20), LongPlay's refreshing take on the classic Long Island Tea. A more spirit-forward option is the Marlon Brando (cognac, maple syrup, beer reduction, ginger ale, $20), a stiff drink that pays tribute to the late American film icon.

The bar has a small selection of gourmet bites, including buttermilk chicken nuggets served with a mildly spicy "coronation sauce" ($12) and Togarashi Squid ($14), which is like fried calamari with Japanese chilli pepper seasoning and served with a harissa (Tunisian hot chilli pepper) dip.

Address: 4 Haji Lane

Hours: 6pm to midnight (Tuesday to Thursday), 6pm to 1am (Friday, Saturday and eve of public holiday), 4pm to midnight (Sunday), closed on Monday

Tel: 6291-3323

Info: E-mail groove@longplay.sg

PIZZA FABBRICA

Mk01

A chic eatery that serves traditional Italian pizzas and pastas with a modern twist. The five-month-old restaurant is a breath of fresh air in Bussorah Street, a go-to place for Malay and Middle Eastern cuisine.

Heading the kitchen is Italian transplant Matteo Boifava, who has more than 18 years of industry experience. The menu offers a good range of classic Italian pastas, antipasti and pizzas. Check with the staff for specials using seasonal ingredients.

Order this: If you like the sweet taste of pumpkin, try the restaurant's popular "Fabbrica" special ($28), a crisp and fluffy pizza which uses pumpkin puree instead of a tomato base, topped with broccolini, sundried tomato and fresh mozzarella.

For a sweet ending to your meal, try the Panna Cotta allo Zafferano ($12), a custardy dessert infused with saffron and served with sambuca red berry compote.

Address: 70 Bussorah Street

Hours: 11.30am to 11pm (Sunday, Tuesday to Thursday), 11.30am to midnight (Friday and Saturday), closed on Monday

Tel: 6291-0434

& WHY

Mk02

A month-old halal cafe that serves drip coffee as well as sandwiches and pastries freshly baked in-house. Here, staff look dapper in their shirt, waistcoat and pant ensemble to fit in with the cafe's theme, which draws inspiration from New York delis in the 1940s. The owners of the 500 sq ft cafe are the same people behind successful halal Western restaurant I am..., which opened in Haji Lane about a year ago.

Order this: The owners say the eatery's drip coffee offers something different from espresso in the neighbourhood. There are three types of in-house roasted beans to choose from ($6 to $7), with varying flavour profiles to suit your taste.

The menu boasts a range of open-faced sandwiches, including the Lobster Mobster ($16.90), a lobster roll with mayo and chopped celery, topped with arugula leaves; and the Asparagusto And Pastrami ($18.90), a sandwich with layers of beef pastrami topped with grilled asparagus and Gruyere cheese.

Address: 31 Bali Lane

Hours: 8am to 8pm (Monday to Thursday), 9am to 9pm (Friday to Sunday), closed on Wednesday

Tel: 6291-0993

HONEYCOMB

Mk03

Opened last October, this dessert parlour serves Korean-style soft-serve topped with real honeycomb and a tiny syringe for diners to squeeze liquid honey into their ice cream or yogurt. The owners also run waffle-and-coffee joint Stateland Cafe a few doors down the road.

Order this: There are only a handful of soft-serve flavours on the menu, but popular choices include the classic yogurt-based soft-serve and matcha with granola. Prices start from $6.

Every order comes with a piece of fresh honeycomb and a honey-filled syringe.

Other options include Honey Chip Chocolate and Apple and Cinnamon.

Address: 30 Bali Lane

Hours: Noon to 10pm daily

Tel: 9800-7628

MONDAYS OFF

Mk04

Occasionally, Mondays Off founder Leyna Poh will get e-mail from dismayed customers who visit her multi-label boutique on a Monday. "Some people don't get it, despite the name," she says, with a smile.

Misunderstandings aside, the store is a pretty, welcoming roughly 250 sq ft space. It stocks homeware, decorations, and accessories, all selected by the 26-year-old. Items range from Sketch a Tote pouches to Paper Bunny stationery to Green Banana terrariums.

The graphic designer, who used to work at an interior design magazine, first started selling posters of her own creation, online. She opened Mondays Off in February last year to finally realise a bricks and mortar dream.

She adds that the Haji Lane location was right for her because "I wanted a place where I could choose the hours."

She adds: "The people that come here aren't interested in malls. They're looking for something a bit more special."

Address: 76 Haji Lane

Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays: Noon to 8pm

ET-I-KIT

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Multi-label store Et-i-kit's name reflects founder June Huang's hopes that the store's offerings will encourage people to dress up.

"It comes from the pronunciation of 'etiquette'," she says, referring to dressing etiquette in particular. "And how people in other places take the opportunity to dress up for plays, shows and nights out," she adds.

The charming, roughly 1,000 sq ft exposed brick space, which opened a year ago, carries mainly fashion and accessories labels - many of which are from Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Ms Huang, a former accountant, had studied in the UK and Down Under and wanted to bring the labels she had grown to love there, to Singapore.

Et-i-kit offers fashion-forward and feminine styles, without going the pink and pastel route. Some of the exclusive brands include Self-Portrait, Shona Joy and Thea by Thara.

"Sometimes, when you combine something edgy and dainty, you come up with something even better," she says of the selection.

The 29-year-old previously worked at a branding agency down the street and took advantage of the flourishing retail and food and beverage scene on Kandahar Street - a few roads down from Haji Lane - to open her shop.

Address: 34 Kandahar Street

Hours: Mondays to Saturdays: Noon to 8pm; Sundays: Noon to 6pm

DIGBY DUKE

Mk05

A little slice of Scandinavian design has come to Haji Lane, thanks to the opening of Norwegian glasses brand Digby Duke's new store a year ago.

Co-founded by a Norwegian and an American, the Digby Duke brand, named after the owners' pets, started out online in 2012. The clean, wood-furnished Singapore outpost, which came into being with a local partner, is the brand's first brick-and-mortar store.

Mr Cenydd Tan, the store's business development executive, runs the store and charts its direction. He says Digby Duke hopes to set itself apart from its more expensive competitors.

"Eyewear should be affordable," says the hip-looking 35-year-old, who also runs an advertising and branding agency.

"And the glasses are classic and timeless."

While the roughly 700 sq ft store carries glasses and sunglasses largely from the Digby Duke line, it also includes offerings from brands such as Ray-Ban and Hong Kong label Bighorn.

Prices for the in-house line go from $149 for a pair of prescription-lens glasses to $298 for a pair of progressive-lens glasses.

The store also offers eye exams on site.

Address: 69 Haji Lane

Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays: 11am to 8pm

TIME AFTER TIME

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It was a now-or-never moment that prompted Time After Time founders Sandra and Michelle Chia to finally open their accessories and vintage store.

The sisters, who previously worked as a graphic designer at a magazine and a property agent, respectively, say Time After Time was initially only an online store before they opened a brick-and-mortar store last September.

"We're in our 30s already and we didn't want to have any regrets," says Sandra, 32, of how she and her sister took a leap of faith and devoted themselves fully to Time After Time.

Adds Michelle, 33: "We gave ourselves a timeline and if it doesn't work, we can go back to our day jobs."

But things look good so far. The intimate, roughly 300 sq ft store is fairly bustling, with a steady traffic of curious customers.

The store is quite literally a jewel box, with one-off handcrafted jewellery and accessories from places such as Thailand and Korea. The store also has a section featuring vintage dresses, mostly from Japan.

"We like vintage and boho chic," says Michelle of their tastes and how they choose the store's goods.

"It's vintage-inspired modern accessories and vintage pieces that still look modern," she says. "We didn't want to be too granny-like and in the 1950s."

Address: 62 Haji Lane

Hours: Sundays to Fridays: Noon to 8pm; Saturdays: Noon to 9pm

THE NAIL SOCIAL

Mk07

On its surface, The Nail Social looks like a typical pretty nail salon with a clean, chic interior.

What makes it special is that The Nail Social, which opened in January, is also a social enterprise, training and hiring women from disadvantaged backgrounds and filling the store with goods that support its mission.

Co-founder Cheryl Ou says of the socially conscious business: "I really wanted to do some good and as a business owner, I have an even bigger opportunity to make a difference."

The 32-year-old entrepreneur, who had stints in the beauty, hospitality and F&B industries, says she began to search for better reasons to do business through the course of her work.

"I made it a point to incorporate some social aspect when it comes to staff, products and what brands we support, when possible."

The roughly 900 sq ft duplex space, which takes up the second and third floor of a shophouse, also features jewellery, flowers, food and drinks from socially conscious organisations such as Hello Flowers, Puro and Ugly Cake Shop.

The nail treatments and products, such as Angel Pro nail polish, are largely organic and non-toxic as well.

"It is social, as in enterprise, as well as in socialise," she says of the space, which encourages customers to sit back, relax and enjoy the space.

Address: 42A Haji Lane

Hours: Tuesdays to Fridays: 11am to 9pm; Saturdays & Sundays: 10am to 8pm