The good people of The Compound Collective who brought us uber chic Barbary Coast at Boat Quay, bring their special brand of cool to the Robertson Quay area with yet another stylish bar concept, this time focusing on art-themed cocktails.
Opened in mid-April, the concept of Revival Bar is clever — taking inspiration from different art eras throughout history, with a range of 11 art styles that include Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Baroque, Expressionism, Abstract, and more — which allows founders Celia Schoonraad, Roman Foltán and Michael Callahan plenty of creative freedom to conjure their most creative tipples.
For its debut menu, featuring 20 house drinks (with more to be added very soon), the team has categorised each drink according to its genre. If you look at the 45-page menu (downloadable from their website), the tipple is visually supported by the art it takes inspiration from with a little lesson in art history.
Highlights include Pathway in Monet’s Garden, a harmonious medley of Beefeater and Hendricks Gin, St Germain elderflower liqueur, honeysuckle, jasmine, lemon and egg white; Portrait of Pablo Picasso, a blend of Beefeater Gin, Campari, Fernet, Suze liqueur, sweet vermouth, neroli and cassia; and Jardin Et Poulailler Chez Octave Mirbeau, a concoction of Lake Bartezek Vodka, linden leaf, chlorophyll, peach, lemon, and Champagne.
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For those needing something more spirit-forward, we recommend The Lady of Shalott, featuring a deep and dark blend of Oat Milk Distillate, Plantation 3 Stars Rum, red berry, hay, lily, acid and saline. Another crowd favourite is Napoleon Crossing the Alps, a blood-red concoction made very heady with Hennessy VSOP, Bols Genever, Beefeater Gin, and Dolin Blanc.
Revival takes over the space once occupied by high-end Japanese whiskey bar Coffee Bar K. It maintains a similar layout in terms of the signature tall wall bottle shelf display anchored by a 9m long marble bar top counter — where the best seats in the house are. But the overall look and feel is very plush and fashionable, with a sophisticated mid-century modern vibe set in deep jewel green and earth tones. What we found sorely lacking was, well, art. Other than some light wallpaper detailing by House of Hackney, there was only one large wall-mounted artwork by the side of the bar.
The loft-style space comfortably seats 75 guests indoors and outdoors and can accommodate about 10 guests on the mezzanine floor above, currently reserved for patrons who buy by the bottle. There’s even a one-seater booth upstairs cheekily created as a naughty or time-out corner for those who had a little too much dram.
If you’re a spirit collector, the good news is that Revival has an elaborate retail space along the staircase (and soon-to-be online) featuring an extensive collection of over 1,300 bottles. These ranges from an eclectic mix of rare whiskeys to gins such as JP Wiser’s Last Barrels Canadian Whiskey, Limited Edition Ki No Bi Kyoto Dry Gin Navy Strength, and a Swedish Intelligens AI:01 Whiskey. Supposedly, the bar also offers a cask programme where you can purchase casks of your favourite spirit and Revival will work with partnering distilleries to store and mature it for you.
If you’re hungry, the bar offers a smallish menu of light bites such as a Cheese & Charcuterie board, Smoked Salmon Toast, Kueh Pie Tee and Spag Bol Jaffle, which will rotate every six months. But with all the good food available in the vicinity, we recommend you save your money for the bar’s winning cocktails.
Incidentally, Revival has a Casual Sunday Extravaganza menu — if you’re ever in the area on weekends — where guests are invited to sip on selected cocktails from 4–10:30pm. Do try the weekend exclusives like Michelada, a spicy blend of Mexican beer, tomato, spice mix & lime; Espresso Martini, a shaken melody of Tried & True Vodka, Mr Black Coffee Liqueur and nitro-charged kopi-o coffee; and Mojito Royale, a concoction of Plantation 3 Star, mint, lime, sugar, and Billecart-Salmon Brut.
With so much flexibility for artistic interpretation, we’re hoping that this unique bar concept could potentially spin off into other colourful partnerships with art institutions or local galleries to create cocktail exclusives or even conduct art appreciation workshops.