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Barbary Coast

  • Bars and pubs
  • Raffles Place
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. Barbary Coast
    Photograph: Barbary CoastGraces
  2. Barbary Coast
    Photograph: Barbary CoastTommy Tomate
  3. Barbary Coast
    Photograph: Barbary CoastBarbary Coast Ballroom
  4. Barbary Coast
    Photograph: Barbary CoastBarbary Coast Ballroom
  5. Barbary Coast
    Photograph: Barbary Coast

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

Split into two concepts – Deadfalls and the Barbary Coast Ballroom – this bar has something for everyone

A themed cocktail joint along Boat Quay is usually a recipe for disaster. But not when industry powerhouses Michael Callahan and Celia Schoonraad are at the helm – the former is the founding bartender and co-owner of 28 HongKong Street while the latter has done bartending stints across Europe, Australia and America. Needless to say, if anyone can make this two-storey space that spans three shophouses work, these two can.

Barbary Coast is inspired by the San Francisco district of the same name back in the mid-1800s, where miners flocked in during the gold rush. This gave rise to two types of bars that capture the essence of the coast. On the first floor, there’s Deadfall, an accessible, no-nonsense spot with exposed brick walls and raw concrete floors; greasy pub grub ($12 to $15) including a plate of nachos with refillable cheese; and most importantly, $14 colour-coded cocktails, $12 glasses of wine and draft beer from $6. All sorts of people, pirates and pooches are welcomed here – and if you’re lucky, you might even spot Callahan’s puppy frolicking by the bar. Her name is Nugget and she's reason enough to visit.

Take things to the next level and climb the steps to greater drinking heights at the Barbary Coast Ballroom. The second storey could not be more different from the first – with mismatched floral wallpaper, glittering chandeliers over plush velvet settees and even two private booths where you can push a button for a bottle of Billecart-Salmon champagne ($100). The cocktails are equally charming, with something for every taste. Sip on the Low High Brow ($22), a sour and fizzy start to the evening. Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy the Tea with Raspberries and Cream ($25), a clarified milk punch infused with berry tea and raspberry that you pour into your own glass. They all make good drinking with a cheese and charcuterie board available in various sizes ($50/$95/$145) served with a selection of cheeses, house-cured meats, fruits and butters.

Barbary Coast achieves what it promises, transporting you to old-world San Francisco – regardless of which version of it you choose to live out. It does so with style, without bogging you down with kitsch or gimmicks – just like the miners of yore, this spot strikes gold.

Nicole-Marie Ng
Written by
Nicole-Marie Ng


16 N Canal Rd
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Opening hours:
Tues - Wed 7PM - 2AM Thurs - Sat 7pm - 3AM
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