A-Z inventions of Covid-19: Zouk and company go beyond clubbing

Zouk partnered Absolute Cycle studio to conduct spin classes on the nightspot's main dance floor, complete with lighting and heart-pumping music.
Zouk partnered Absolute Cycle studio to conduct spin classes on the nightspot's main dance floor, complete with lighting and heart-pumping music.PHOTO: ZOUK SINGAPORE

With clubbing still a far-off possibility, new life was breathed into darkened dance floors as several nightclubs converted them into lifestyle destinations.

The offerings included a cinema, spin classes and various dining options - from pizzas (Cherry Discotheque) to paratha brunches (Magic Carpet Lounge).

Zouk in Clarke Quay led the charge, first converting its Capital Lounge into a pop-up restaurant, Capital Kitchen, in July, filling the dance floor with dining tables and wait staff instead of champagne trains.

By day, the main room is transformed into a spin studio in collaboration with Absolute Cycle - utilising the club's existing sound and lights system to deliver heart-pumping workouts.

By night, it turns into Zouk Cinema Club, screening films several times a week to 50 people at a time. The club's lights are used to enhance the movie-watching experience, and popcorn, fried snacks and bottle service are available.

These pivots have been necessary, especially after the Government's announcement in October that venues such as bars, clubs, karaoke lounges and nightclubs are unlikely to resume activities even after Singapore enters phase three of its reopening.

Last month, the Government also announced that venues can apply for financial support packages to either pivot to food and beverage operations or other commercial uses, with a grant of up to $50,000 from Enterprise Singapore.

Retro nightclub Nineteen80, which has been shuttered for nine months, reopened last Friday as a snack bar, while last month, Ce La Vi converted its dormant nightclub into a Sky Lounge for sunset hour drinks with bites such as bao burgers and full bottle service.

Expect to see other former nightspots transformed in the year ahead.

Anjali Raguraman

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 20, 2020, with the headline 'Zouk and company go beyond clubbing'. Subscribe