Get us in your inbox

Search
Zouk Cinema Club
Photograph: Zouk

How nightclubs in Singapore are adapting in times of closure

Forced to shut, music clubs in Singapore are grooving to a new beat and using their dance floors for other novel uses

https://d32dbz94xv1iru.cloudfront.net/customer_photos/de74307b-5c32-41e5-bcab-0fe64b65a616.jpg
Written by
Fabian Loo
Advertising

Until recently, nightclubs in Singapore were forced to closed indefinitely. Phase 2’s strict safe distancing rules mandated that all the bars, pubs, and clubs are forced to closed their doors to the public, turning what was once bustling dance floors into empty, unused spaces. 

In a bid to adapt, clubs have started using their space for unique uses: Zouk is now a spin studio by day, cinema by night, while its Capitol lounge functions as a pop-up restaurant; and Cherry Discotheque is now a night-time diner. 

RECOMMENDED: Hungry? Head to these bars for dinner instead

New (supper) club
Photograph: Cherry Discotheque

New (supper) club

The popular basement nightspot has since transformed from a music club to a supper club. Called Cherry Diner, the underground space now functions as an eatery that comes complete with snazzy hip hop tunes and dim mood lighting.

Safe distancing rules might have forced Cherry to pivot, but the transition feels natural. “It was hard to come up with the right food that suited the vibe of our space,” says Wayne Chiam, managing director of Cherry Discotheque.

Existing neon fixtures lend well to complement the American diner theme, and the menu features hearty grub of hotdogs, pizzas, and other finger food. The best part? Cherry Diner opens till (very) late, just like the old times. Night owls can look forward to a supper line-up of mocktails (the no booze after 10.30pm rule still applies), ice cream waffles, churros, cakes, and more.

A new spin
Photograph: Zouk

A new spin

So while nightclubs typically enforce a smart-casual dress code, it’s now possible to swing by Zouk while being decked out in just athleisure wear and sport sneakers. As part of its latest pivot, adrenaline junkies can swing by the dance floor for a new heart-pumping adventure: rhythmic cycling.

So instead of dancing on the floor, club-goers can now groove on a bike. Come daytime, Zouk has partnered Absolute Cycle to transform the cavernous space into a two-storey pop-up spin studio – jazzed up with the club’s dramatic light display and sonorous sound system.

“We knew quite early on that gyms and fitness studios were becoming increasingly hard to book due to capacity issues,” says CEO of Zouk Group, Andrew Li. Utilising the dance floor, thus, made for a win-win situation: the unused space can now house some 50 bikes, all while adhering to safety regulations. Classes also come with the added perk of light and visual effects, synchronised to the beat of the music.

“By utilising the audio-visual and lighting effects, we could also elevate the experience to the next level,” adds Andrew.

Advertising
Movie magic
Photograph: Zouk

Movie magic

Come nightfall, the bikes then make way for Zouk Cinema Club. Beyond just a romantic spot to catch a flick, the movie-watching experience is now elevated with snazzy light effects and quality sound system that changes according to the scene on the screen.

On the inspiration behind this new-age theatre-going experience, Andrew shares: “With our huge LED screen, world-class sound and lighting, we felt that a cinema experience would make great use of the space.”

Themed nights that change up bi-monthly will feature cult classics and new releases alike. This month, the theme For The Love of Music will see the screening of Moulin Rouge, complete with a replica of the Red Mill.

But how will these novel lifestyle offerings change in light of the recent nightlife pilots?

“The pilots don’t change any future plans for the Zouk Group,” says Andrew. “If anything, the pandemic has sped up our expansion into new territories and new verticals that we are building.”

Hit the clubs

  • Nightlife
  • Clubs
  • Raffles Place

The existing high tables and low seating arrangements might not exactly be the most comfortable, but you’re probably here for the vibes anyway. The diner-themed menu features American classics of hot dogs topped with truffle scrambled eggs ($16.90), pepperoni pizza ($26.90), and spicy popcorn chicken ($13.90) – best washed down with a cocktail or two.

  • Clubs
  • Raffles Place

This is probably the only time you can hit the clubs dressed in tights and slippers. Like a regular spin class, shoes and towels are available for use. But here, there are no lockers, so remember to pack light; you leave your belongings on the floor next to your bike. The best spots in the club are arguably at the front – that’s where the views are unobstructed, the lighting hits at all the right spots, and the music is the loudest. Conversely, getting a bike towards the back of the pack, or on the second level, might make you feel removed from the class. If you’re planning to freshen up after the sweet sess, note that shower facilities are present, but limited. If you recall, Zouk has a communal sink situation going on, which might make sprucing up slightly awkward. Luckily, there’s the option to swing by Absolute’s other outlets and utilise the showers instead. A drop-in class starts from $49, and bookings can be made through its website or Classpass.

Advertising
  • Clubs
  • Raffles Place

Screenings run once every night, for four days a week. Expect to lounge on plush sofas and snack on a range of food and drink options as you enjoy the movie. Table packages start from $75 for two, and comes with a jug of house pour spirit or Long Island tea. Garrett popcorn ($8), sausage and mash ($10), nacho chips ($10), and other munchies are also available for order. Tickets can be purchased via its website

Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising