4 reasons to head back to City Hall in May

We love City Hall for the pretty buildings, but there are tons of exciting things going on there lately, from a new shopping mall to heritage sites. It may be time to head down again.

Because it’s the home to the Capitol

The newly-revamped heritage buildings Stamford House and Capitol Theatre get a new lease of life. The restored Art Deco theater retains much of its facade and will soon be home to Singapore’s first-ever musical, Singapura: The Musical when it debuts May 19. The building has also got a modern, all-glass mall extension, Capitol Piazza. It’s now home to lots of new brands like luxe nomadic label Napapijri, quirky Finnish giant Marimekko and local designer Max Tan‘s flagship store. On top of that, the mall is also set to be a dining destination with a slew of new restaurants and cafes like Four Seasons Chinese Restaurant, craft beer bar Tap (it supposedly has one of the biggest craft beer selections in town) and Spizza Mercato.

There’s tons more heritage…and shellfish…and dating

Down the road is the National Gallery. While there’s still no art in the majestic old Supreme Court and City Hall buildings, together they’re meant to be bigger than the Musee d’Orsay and it will house the largest public collection of modern Southeast Asian and Singapore art. Also slated to open there is an oyster and rooftop bar Aura by the folks behind il Lido, and views of the Padang, of course.

But if you’re looking for a cheekier reason to explore the hood (and one that’s much sooner than the Gallery’s November opening date), the Singapore Art Museum is hosting Hide and Seek on May 8. This alternative dating event where guys have to search for the ladies by using an app and asking for clues as to where they are located within the museum’s galleries.

Chijmes is done with its facelift and has new places

Now that Chijmes is up-and-running again, there are tons of places to eat and drink after work (and at virtually any hour of the day). Famed local bar Harry’s has taken over the space formerly occupied by Japanese bar and izakaya Here & There with an all-new menu. Now, the bar includes a pretty glass-enclosed semi-alfresco space, so you can enjoy the evening sky without feeling the heat. There’s also The Irish Times which will open in June and show tons of sports screenings over cold pints of beer. Also slated to make its comeback in June is pan-Asian favorite Coriander Leaf. We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for their Valrhona chocolate cake returns as well.

There’s a cool film festival

Local documentary film festival Endeavours is back this May 13-17 with a roster of edgy “made in Singapore” productions and other feature-length and short documentaries like The Invisible Migrant, Citizenfour (the Edward Snowden docu, fyi) and The Last Man on the Moon. Screening are split across The Projecture and the Civic District’s Arts House.