Tuck into a charcuterie spread, sample a bottle of wine or stock up on spirits at these five new retail spaces that double up as cafes, bars or workshop venues. Here’s where you can knock back a glass or two without popping into a swanky bar.
Craig Road has a new bar and liquor store located in a heritage shophouse. Decked out with industrial shelves, raw concrete walls and neon lights, it has none of that trendy speakeasy vibe. But if you’re just looking to take home crowd-pleasing labels like Hibiki, Grey Goose, Absolut and Johnnie Walker at affordable prices, then this no-frills gastropub is it. Check out highlights like the Glenlivet 12 Year Old whisky ($142), or head to their bar to grab pub grub like crispy pork belly ($16), prawn paste chicken ($10) and prawn shawarma ($15).
Launched at the start of this year, this back alley hideout is the newest set-up by the father-and-son team behind Moosehead and Maggie Joan’s. Gemmills is an all-day bottle shop-cafe-bar serving coffee, pastries and gourmet sandwiches from $13, and tarts like chocolate hazelnut (from $9). The real draw is its range of accessible and ever-changing New World bottles from lesser-known wineries, like Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch ($90), an Australian Riesling best paired with wild game meat, and Telhas Terre d’Alter Syrah and Viognier ($80), an acclaimed Portuguese label. House pours start at $11, which you can have with gourmet cheese (from $10 per 100g) and charcuterie (from $7 per 50g).
This no-frills Tiong Bahru convenience store has a solid list of craft beers from the US, UK, Belgium and Japan, and a curated selection of sake, soju and wine. Emphasizing on quality over quantity, you will also find premium labels such as Wyborowa vodka, Don Papa rum and Haig Club whisky. The place only sells bottled stuff for now, but they will be adding craft beer on tap soon.
The Proof Flat
Still keeping us in suspense, this up-and-coming fine spirits salon by the 28 HongKong Street team is the fanciest venue on the list—interiors mimic a Don Draper-esque den, with tufted leather sofas, backlit bottles of spirits, fancy crystal snifters and Miles Davis spinning on a shiny record player. We were told that the retail space will host industry workshops, and while details are not confirmed yet, we hope this elegant boutique will house a bar too.
A nondescript liquor store on Yong Siak Street, Zircon-Swis Gourmet is actually an established supplier of gourmet cheeses, condiments and fresh produce from all over the world. Here, you will find wines from countries like France, Spain, New Zealand, Australia and Germany, craft beers and boutique spirits. Wines run the gamut from $25 bottles to the $990 Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2011, craft beers are available from $6.90, and spirits range from $98 for a Single Estate Cognac to $198 for an XO label. Bargain hunters might want to check out their cheeses ($4.80-15) and extra virgin olive oil ($18 for 1 liter). The store also has a simple and cozy space for diners who’d like to grab a quick sandwich, or mull over a bottle of beer.