We all know that speakeasies were born from the Prohibition era in America back then, but now it is all the rage in Malaysia and even our neighbouring country down south. Hidden bars seem to exude a sense of exclusivity and secrecy, making the experience of downing a tipple or two all the more exciting.
And since we know you guys love to travel and hunt for good gastronomic places (especially for that perfect drinking spot!), we’ve come up with a list of speakeasies you should definitely check out when you’re in Singapore.
1. The Library
Getting into this bar isn’t easy, even if you know the location of the entrance. To gain admission, one must first give them the correct password before being led inside where the magic happens. Once inside, give your eyes some time to adjust to the dim lighting of the cosy bar as you slowly take in the Prohibition era decor. After that, pick your poison for the night from their bold and quirky drinks menu.
Source: The Library
How to enter: look for their ever-changing password on their Facebook page, or just wing it by telling the guardian of the entrance a cheesy joke. It has been known to work!
Address: 47 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089151
2. Operation Dagger
Source: Seth Lui
The interior of Operation Dagger is gorgeous and sparkling, thanks to the 6,000 light bulbs they have hanging from the ceiling. Totally insta-worthy! The entrance to this mysterious basement opens to a rickety staircase, which leads you right down into one of the best bars in Singapore where you can indulge in their signature multi-sensory cocktails. We’re not even joking, they were crowned Best New Bar by the Singapore Bar Awards in 2015!
How to enter: spot the illegible scribbles near an unmarked glass door and go down the staircase.
Address: 7 Ann Siang Hill, Singapore 069791
3. The Spiffy Dapper
This hidden bar transports drinkers back to the Prohibition era with their artistic decor and music that sounds exactly like it came from the ’20s. While the delicious cocktails here can get a little pricey, we say it’s worth it just for that brilliant atmosphere.
How to enter: keep an eye out for Dapper Coffee signs, then go up the staircase to the intricately-engraved doors.
Address: 73 Amoy Street, Second Floor, Singapore 069892
4. 28 Hong Kong Street
While the location isn’t such a secret anymore due to its name, finding the entrance can be quite a task. But once you cross their doorstep, this obscure bar (with several awards under its belt to boot!) will welcome you with their extensive menu of more than 700 independent craft spirits.
How to enter: the bar is unmarked, so look for number 28 and push open its heavy doors.
Address: 28 Hong Kong Street, Singapore 059667
5. Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall
Don’t be fooled by its retro-sounding name, because this hidden bar is as cool as it gets. Located on the second floor of a shophouse, the innovative drinks on the menu incorporates fun, local elements into otherwise classic cocktails you’d usually see.
How to enter: look for the small, inconspicuous signboard below a dodgy-looking massage sign.
Address: 60 Boat Quay, Singapore 049848
6. The Horse’s Mouth
This secluded speakeasy is totally hidden below Uma Uma Ramen behind a heavy curtain and you probably need to request for help from one of the staff for directions, since there is no signage to guide you. But we promise that the experience is worth the effort, as their yummy concoctions use only the best ingredients in town.
Address: #B1-39, Forum The Shopping Mall, 583 Orchard Road, Singapore 238884
Doesn’t the name revoke memories of your childhood when you were innocent and carefree playing the classic game in the playground? This bar serves alcoholic beverages with local influences, so that you can relive your childhood the adult way. Don’t say we bojio!
Address: 28 Maxwell Rd, #01-04 Red Dot Traffic Building, Singapore 069120
8. Bitters & Love
Looking deceptively like an unfinished shoplot from the outside, one might be forgiven for thinking that there’s nothing inside. But once you get past the door, you will find a cosy cocktail bar for discerning drinkers. One of their signature drinks called the Kaya Toast Cocktail, is perfect for dessert lovers!
Address: 118 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068587
9. Employees Only
Source: SG Asia City
Employees Only is an interesting place to go, as you’ll be greeted by a fortune teller at the entrance who can read your future, before you make your way inside the bustling bar with Moulin Rouge-inspired decor (think velvet curtains and the likes) to enjoy your glass of alcohol. This bar is also a franchise from NYC adopting the same name, where you’ll find perfectly-capable bartenders who’ll make you one of the best drinks you’ve ever had.
How to enter: look for the flashing neon pink ‘Psychic’ sign.
Address: 112 Amoy Street, Singapore 069932
10. The Other Room
Located inside The Marriott Hotel, this bar which is also reminiscent of the Prohibition era, is hidden behind an unmarked door and swishing curtains where you will find personalised cask-finished spirits. If you are perplexed by the variety of liquor here, fret not, because the friendly bartenders will guide you to choose the best ones to suit your preference.
Address: #01-05 Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, 320 Orchard Road, Singapore 238865