You know a bar is good when you tell all your friends about it. You know a bar is really good when you don't want to tell anyone about it. You want the watering hole all to yourself as a personal drinking refuge. As much we jealously love the officially opened Barbary Coast, it is our job to tell you about all these amazing places.
It's good to have a little context to fully appreciate the duality of this bar. Made up of two concepts vertically stacked in a shophouse, Barbary Coast pays homage to the two sides of the original district in San Francisco during the mid-1800s. One alive with both uncomplicated concert saloons and sophisticated dance halls, filled with sailors from around the world seeking fortune in the gold rush of 1849.
Owned and operated by industry veterans Celia Schoonraad and Michael Callahan, the fit of Barbary Coast in Boat Quay seems too perfect. We all know the trading port history of our favourably located island and the ensuing prosperity then, not unlike what would have been in Barbary Coast. So we find it fitting to use columns to introduce and compare the two concepts—presenting Deadfall and Barbary Coast Ballroom:
Occupying the lower floor, the dog-friendly bar keeps its raw beamed ceiling amongst many rustic décor elements like taxidermy and actual port side rope. Cheap and casual—like the makeshift bars that existed then.
Like the original dyed and sweetened spirits of the time, cocktails are creatively named by colour from SGD14. We're told the ice cold draft beers going from SGD6 is the cheapest pour in the area.
The TTW (Tater Tot Waffles) Sando is cholesterol in a bite, but sometimes it's just worth it. To add on the the guilt, nachos come with unlimited cheese.
Barbary Coast Ballroom
Just upstairs is the contrast of the dichotomy. Lush and opulent like the jazz clubs then, chandeliers adorn the parlour-style space. There are nine different wallpapers that almost magically come together like artwork.
There's a button to order Champagne at the VIP booth seats, but if you're seeking something a little more complex, enjoy the smoky and savoury Tommy Tomate or the refreshing Josephine Baker.
Cheese is universal. Get the Cheese & Charcuterie boards—Petite from SGD50 and La Grand Dame, maybe the longest platter ever, from SGD145.
Barbary Coast is located at 16 North Canal Road, Singapore 048828. For inquiries, call 8869 4798.