New campaign aims to liven up Tuesdays at Singapore River

Read Bridge, connecting Clarke Quay to Riverside Point. Singapore River One hopes that the perception of the area can change with the new three-month yoga programme on Tuesdays. -- ST PHOTO: RACHEL TAN
Read Bridge, connecting Clarke Quay to Riverside Point. Singapore River One hopes that the perception of the area can change with the new three-month yoga programme on Tuesdays. -- ST PHOTO: RACHEL TAN

New campaign to draw the crowds with mass yoga classes, river taxi pub crawls

Tuesday nights tend to be slow ones for watering holes but a group of business owners along the Singapore River hope to change that when they roll out their new campaign, Tuesdays by the River, on Sept 17.

Singapore River One (SRO) has lined up free yoga sessions, dining deals and a special pub crawl to run over six months. "We wanted to create another high-volume business night along the river," said SRO executive director Tyrone Tabing.

The SRO is a private sector-led partnership charged with the day-to-day management, maintenance, enhancement and marketing of the Singapore River. It hopes Tuesdays by the River will boost business and diversify patronage in Clarke Quay, Robertson Quay and Boat Quay, which it says offer different attractions.

From Sept 17 to Nov 5, mass yoga classes on Read Bridge will be held every Tuesday at 7.30pm. Up to 300 people can be accommodated at the classes - to soften the bridge's watering-hole reputation.

"There are currently many people drinking along the bridge every evening and we hope that by bringing on such programming, we can improve the image of the area," said Mr Tabing.

For those who prefer another kind of activity, a river taxi pub crawl will begin at 7pm at the Fat Pigeon, and will cost $30 for the ride.

Mr Tabing said the pub crawl will be well-regulated, with chaperones to ensure inebriated individuals do not board the taxis.

Visa will also offer one-for-one deals from Sept 17 to March 18 next year.

"I think it's good it's not all based on alcohol," said Mr Martin Mcgettigan, managing director of Boomarang Bistro and Bar, Robertson Quay. "There's always a market for after-work office people to do something like a pub crawl as much as there is for people who want to do something different."

The new initiative also makes tenants in the surrounding area hopeful for more customers.

"We're more on the corner of Circular Road - there's a lot of potential there for business," said Mr Henry Bristow, general manager of Mogambo restaurant and bar.

He hopes the more diverse activities will encourage tenants to take more pride in keeping streets clean, for example. "I think the business has changed a lot in the last few years. Our main customers - bankers, executives - everyone's being a little frugal, so there's a lot more room for tourists here," he said.

Ms Felita Wijaja, manager of Namu restaurant in Boat Quay, said the river taxi pub crawl must attract the right crowds that will bring business.

And while they are hoping for positive impact, some pub-goers remain to be convinced.

"I think the Boat Quay establishments are sort of monochromatic - the waterside establishments by the Esplanade and Robertson Quay feel more upscale and better thought out. I suppose the challenge is staying relevant," said bank executive Ian Choo, 33.rmytan@sph.com.sg