Fresh! is possibly the most underrated place for you to throw your feet up and unwind to eclectic sounds from the 90s and 2000s as you soak up the tasteful pop-art decor and unassuming glamour. Nestled in the heart of one of Singapore’s key heritage districts, Kampong Glam on the second floor of boutique hotel The Sultan, the bar doubles as a club that plays homage to the vibrant pop culture of the 90s and early 2000s.
Launched just a couple of months ago, the tastefully done-up bar club boasts a large space, a bar, rooftop and dance floor. It is open Monday to Saturday from 6pm till late. On weeknights, Fresh! functions as a bar that serves a good mix of crafty cocktails and original blends, as well as craft beers and premium liquors. A smooth mix of memorable, feet-tapping tunes from over a decade ago serve as the backdrop complement to great beverages. However, come Friday and Saturday, the beats get faster and the dancing to pop and urban sounds from yesteryear gets more uptempo.
Conceptualised and founded by the Managing Director of bar consultancy company Bespoken Concepts, Shawn Kishore, Fresh! is a place where one gets to not only have a good drink but reminisce and hopefully relive the fun and atmosphere of hanging out in a bar or club in the 90s.
He says, “back then, going to bars for a drink wasn't a trendy affair. It was really about enjoying the moment, dancing to the music and basically, having a kickass time. At Fresh! we want to almost literally bring back those times with the music that we play and the nights that we run. To top that, we are going to serve you really good drinks.”
Fronted by one of Singapore’s talented bartenders, Alvin, Fresh! offers a list of cocktails that are original as well as personal renditions of crowd favourites such as the Lychee Martini and the indelible Singapore Sling. At Fresh! only, the (pun intended) freshest ingredients are used to make cocktails. However Fresh! isn't just a cocktail bar. Alvin and his team of bartenders have curated a list of premium liquors as well as original blends of rum and gin. Along with carefully selected craft beers is a selection of easy to drink but discernibly selected wines that aren't too complicated for a fuss-free night out.
Taking care of customers at Fresh!, is Operations Manager Mike Cheong who is also the winner of the Regional Cocktail Competition La Maison Cointreau Asia 2015. Not only is he well-versed with what makes a bar tick, this is one man who understands what makes a good drink, good. He says, “At Fresh! we have more than just a selection of good cocktails. We create our blend of rums as well. Ultimately, we just want to create a great night out.”
Taking centre stage, is the heartbeat of Fresh!, the bar where Alvin and his team of champion bartenders work their magic making the freshest drinks and pouring the best blends that money can buy. Surrounding them is a specially commissioned mural that wraps the pillars. Designed by local artist Zero (otherwise known as Zul) who is also the winner of the National Arts Council Young Artist Award in 2013, the mural celebrates the vibrant lifestyle and pop culture of the 90s, in both global and local arenas. From the iconic Nirvana Nevermind album cover to the joys of Big Splash at East Coast, it is definitely a sight on the walls that is redolent of simpler times.
Fresh! has the added advantage of being surrounded by lush foliage in the, perfect for people-watchers who want to soak in the bustling atmosphere of Kampong Glam at night. Specially designed imported cabanas and the cool atmosphere make this spot the most ideal relaxation area to while the night away with a glass or three.
“At Fresh! it is not about what is cool and what is trendy. It is about celebrating what was once considered fun. And, it is also where we want you to have a good drink, enjoy the music, hang out because you want to “put your hands in the air and wave ‘em like you just don’t care”, says Mike Cheong.
Credits: Bespoken Concepts
*Image credits - Bespoken Concepts and Fresh!