You’ve got to love a cocktail bar with a theme and story behind it. Barbary Coast brings the headiness of the California Gold Rush to Boat Quay. This new two-storey space is brought to us by bar veterans Michael Callahan and Celia Schoonraad of The Compound Collective. They wanted to create a space that payed homage to that adventurous era. On each floor there is a separate bar offering creative craft cocktails, indulgent bar bites, and unique 1840s vibes.
The ground floor is called Deadfall and it takes inspiration from the dive bars in San Francisco where gold miners who were down on their luck could grab cheap drinks. This is no grungy watering hole though. The space features exposed bricks, Peranakan tiled floors and marble-topped tables. The drinks menu features five cocktails named after their colours. For example, the Yellow with rum and burnt pineapple or the Red with bourbon, beer syrup, Angostura bitters, and beer.
The bar bites are hearty and lean towards the greasy side, which makes them perfect for soaking up booze. Try the nachos with bottomless cheese refills or the indulgent TTW Sando (Tater Tot Sando). The latter features ham and sauerkraut sandwiched between potato waffles cooked in duck fat. Wash it all down with a Young Masters craft beer on tap.
Head upstairs and you enter The Ballroom, a space where a prospector who hit it rich might go to blow their newly found gold. Think ornate wallpaper, thick carpets, cushy armchairs and chandeliers. Here the cocktails and bites are a little more upscale. Take for example the Tea with Raspberries and Cream made with two types of gin, berry tea, and milk. Bar bites include cheese boards loaded with imported charcuterie and cheeses. Grab a seat in one of the VIP booths and you can order champagne with just the touch of a button.
Barbary Coast also has a long bar outside along the sidewalk, which is an easy place to rock up to for a few drinks. Prices range from $14++ for cocktails, $12++ for glasses of wine, and $6++ for craft beers. Bar bites are also available outside. We reckon the al fresco bar would be a great place to hang with a group if it’s not too hot outside.
Barbary Coast, 16 North Canal Road, Singapore 048828. Open Mon 4pm – 1am, Tues – Wed 4pm – 2am, Thurs – Sat 4pm – 3am