Every modern cocktail bar starts with a story. In the case of the recently-opened Barbary Coast, it’s the California Gold Rush of 1849 – where one drank to celebrate a windfall, or to console oneself on a fruitless day. Consequently, two types of establishments arose to meet market demand: the deadfall, a cheap, no-frills place where getting drunk was the main order of business – never mind the quality of alcohol or ambiance; and, at the other end of the spectrum, the ballroom.

(Related: Barrel-Aged Cocktails)

After the story, you sprinkle on some pedigree. The two main talents behind Barbary Coast are Celia Schoonraad and Michael Callahan, both industry veterans that have close to four decades of experience between them. Callahan’s also a prime figure in Singapore’s cocktail scene, having played important roles in the founding of bar powerhouses like 28 Hong Kong Street.

The concept

Barbary Coast is split into two concepts, with Deadfall occupying the ground floor, and Ballroom upstairs. 

16 North Canal Road. Website

(Related: Meet Paul Gabie, the man shaping Asia’s best bars)