Did you know – in SMU, students have the privilege of opportunity to drinking on campus until 12am at a bar onsite? This is at our very own Bricklane, a bar familiar to any SMU student. From S$2 Truffle Fries Tuesdays to Happy Hours, their promotions and perks draw us in again and again.
Personally, I visit Bricklane occasionally: After the completion of a group project, or after Taekwondo training. It is the place for celebration, bonding, and events such as "Starry Night". You may then wonder, "Won’t it be very crowded?" and "Where do we go after midnight?". Fear not, for this specially curated list of bars can give SMU students alternative places near campus to hang out at, regardless of whether you are a drinker!
1. SMÖÖbar @ Prinsep
This is probably the second most popular bar among SMU students! If the queue at Bricklane is too long, SMÖÖbar is your next best alternative. Compared to many other bars, what stands out the most here is its value for money. With the happy hour menu available from 2PM to 8PM, drinks are affordable and your guilt for indulging in day drinking diminished! With flavoured shots such as Milo, Yakult, and even Ribena, all at S$1 each, you can return to your childhood not only through these familiar flavours, but also through your budget…! Not only are the drinks affordable, they are interesting and unique as well. The bar is good for groups, offering 3 litre towers for sharing, which can be filled with beer, or flavoured liquor as mentioned previously.
As with every bar, SMÖÖbar sells finger food that is great for sharing too. The affordability of their food gives more reason for non-drinkers to frequent SMÖÖbar. The best part? They are open till 3AM, making them a perfect place to hit if you and your friends are looking for affordable drinks after midnight!
Address: 44A Prinsep Street Singapore 188674
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 2PM-3AM
2. Timbre X @ The Substation
Located just next to SMU School of Law, Timbre X is easily accessible to SMU students. This bar has daily promotions, such as a glass of Gin and Tonic for S$6++ (U.P. S$12++) on Mondays to Thursdays and Saturdays before 7PM. Have classes till 6.45PM on weekdays? Fret not! There are plenty of other promotions throughout the night. They offer house pour spirits (Gin, Vodka, Rum, Tequila, Jim Beam) for S$6++ (U.P. S$10++) after 12AM on Fridays and Saturdays. In fact, that is not all Timbre X has to offer. They offer an impressive variety of cocktails, as well as mouth-watering food such as Roasted Duck Pizza and Guinness Braised “Kong Ba Bao”. These few dishes are not the only reasons why non-drinkers should dine at Timbre X, because the ultimate highlights of the bar are their live music performances by local bands – 53A, SuperSonic, and Reverie, just to name a few. Whenever I leave the School of Law in the evening, I hear the lively music coming from this alfresco dining venue. Having been to Timbre X a few times, I would suggest you download their application and register as a member. You can receive birthday perks, earn 10% rebate, and even make song dedications! Decorated with fairy lights, this bar has a warm and rustic ambience that is not to be missed!
Address: 45 Armenian Street, Singapore 179936
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 6PM-1AM | Friday 6PM-2AM | Saturday 6PM-3AM | Sunday closed
Housed in what many call “the Batman Building”, Atlas is known as one of, if not, the world’s largest gin bar. If you are a gin lover, this is the bar for you! Its extensive gin collection and drinks menu will leave you in awe. With its grandeur and “The Great Gatsby” vibes, this bar is undoubtedly pricier than the rest of the bars on this list. However, one is not only paying for the exquisite food and drinks, but also the unique experience and ambience. Also, and perhaps most importantly for some of us, it is incredibly Instagram-worthy.
Even if you are not there for a drink, you can indulge yourself in “atas” (high class) food and take a few for the gram! (I certainly did!) The higher price point implies that Atlas is not a bar the average student can visit as often as he/she visits Bricklane. Thus, it is more suitable for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries. I have been there myself to celebrate my first anniversary with my boyfriend, and it was an unforgettable experience! Speaking from personal experience, do make a reservation in advance, especially if you are going on a Saturday.
Address: Parkview Square, 600 North Bridge Road Singapore 188778
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 10AM-1AM | Friday 10AM-2AM | Saturday 12PM-2AM | Sunday closed
Despite being a little further from SMU, Tantric, the most popular gay bar in Singapore, is definitely worth visiting. This is the only bar of the entire list that I have yet to visit, but based on the décor alone, I am already tempted to patronise the bar one day! The two-storey bar with an outdoor courtyard has an oriental theme, and is decorated with photos of famous late Hollywood actress Anna May Wong. Tantric boasts a large selection of cocktails, wines, beers, and champagnes. It also prides itself upon its signature cocktail - the Blue Spin. This LGBTQ-friendly bar offers double shots daily at S$12 too! Besides visiting Tantric, one can bar-hop along Singapore’s hottest gay street, where it is located.
Address: 78 Neil Road Singapore 088842
Opening hours: Sunday to Friday 8PM-3AM | Saturday and eve of Public Holidays 8PM-4AM
5. Tanuki Raw at the National Design Centre
Though more well-known for its modern Japanese cuisine, Tanuki Raw sells alcoholic drinks as well. It has happy hours on Mondays to Fridays at 5PM-8PM, and all day on Saturdays and Sundays. With every order of a pint of beer (S$12++), cocktail or martini (S$10++), one can order up to 6 pieces of freshly shucked oysters at S$2 each. Another promotion that stands out is 50% off alcohol after 9PM, and there are so many more daily promotions on their website! When I first visited the restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised by their coffee and cake menu, which are great for non-drinkers! Just a few blocks away from the campus, this quaint and aesthetically-pleasing restaurant also boasts their signature Wham! Fries (S$12.90++), which is a great side to go with your drinks, including mocktails.
Address: 111 Middle Road #01-05, Singapore 188969
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 11AM-10PM
6. Bonus place: Home
Where is a better place to drink, than from the comfort of your own home? Without having to queue or make a reservation in advance, drinking from home already surpasses the experience of drinking outside! There is no need to dress up well, squeeze with other customers, or even wave your hand to try and get the waitstaff’s attention in a busy bar. Furthermore, there is no service charge! Even though your home may not be near SMU, it is a place you spend a lot of time at as well. You can pick the music, mix your own drinks, and maybe even invite friends over without going through the trouble of choosing which bar to visit. However, with the current pandemic in mind, home is the obvious choice for both drinkers and non-drinkers. As more bars are offering cocktail delivery, you can drink from home too! Unfortunately, if you have strict parents just like I do, then you can consider ordering in bubble tea instead of alcohol. Oh, how I miss having drinks with friends at bars.
Opening hours: 24/7