Famous US bar Employees Only to open in Singapore

Head bartender Steve Schneider at Employees Only in New York. He will move to Singapore to run the outlet here.
Head bartender Steve Schneider at Employees Only in New York. He will move to Singapore to run the outlet here.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ EMPLOYEES ONLY

New York's Employees Only - one of the top bars in the world - - has plans to open an outlet in Singapore

New York prohibition-style bar Employees Only, No. 4 on the World's 50 Best Bars list last year, will open an outlet in Singapore at 112 Amoy Street.

It will be its first outlet outside of New York.

Its Facebook page hints that it is "coming soon" and cheekily describes the spot as "a legitimate place for illegitimate people".

Employees Only principal bartender Steve Schneider, co-founder Igor Hadzismajlovic and executive chef Julia Jaksic will be moving to Singapore to open and run the bar.

The launch date has not been announced.

Mr Schneider, a New Jersey native and former Marine, was featured in a 2013 documentary about the United States' craft cocktail movement called Hey Bartender.

Employees Only, launched in 2004, is located in the West Village. It was also founded by Mr Dushan Zaric, Mr Henry Lafargue, Mr Jason Kosmas and Mr Bill Gilroy.

Its entry into the Singapore scene will further bolster the country's reputation as having some of the best bars in the region.

Nine bars here made it to the inaugural list of Asia's 50 Best Bars Awards released last week.

The list is compiled by London- based Drinks International magazine, which is also behind the World's 50 Best Bars Awards that takes place annually in October.

The shophouses in Amoy Street are home to other bar establishments such as Jigger & Pony, Sugarhall and The Spiffy Dapper.

Ms Charmane Foo, 33, who visited the New York outlet in November 2014, recalls how there was already a line of 10 to 20 people outside the bar - even in the dead of winter - from as early as 5pm.

Describing the place as crowded, noisy and "where people go to be seen", she hopes that the Singapore outlet will offer some of the classic cocktails from New York.

Other than the Manhattan, one of the more popular offerings is the Amelia - a vodka-based tipple made with elderflower liqueur, pureed blackerries and fresh lemon juice.

There is no indication yet how similar the Singapore outlet will be to its New York predecessor.

Ms Foo hopes the bar will come up with locally inspired cocktails.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2016, with the headline 'Famous US bar to open here'. Print Edition | Subscribe