Go here for:
Casual drinks – Kick back after a hard day’s work and relax.
Pre-drinks – Heading for a big night out? Get into the mood with some cheap(er!) drinks and banging tunes.
$$ – Decently priced drinks (Daily happy hour from 5-9pm with $5++ housepour spirits and $9++ wines, bottled and draught beer)
Looking at their website, 83 Bar & restaurant looks like a cool and vibrant hangout with modern art and swarve drinks. In reality however, the ambience is a little flat and the whole interior comes across as rather overdone. This is very much a joint that has gone for style over substance.
I was very excited to visit 83 and had planned to go down with a few friends on a Saturday. Club Street is always buzzing on a Saturday with a mix of young professional expats and locals. On arrival at Club Street, the place was thriving as expected but unfortunately the parties seemed to be happening everywhere but 83. The usual haunts (Bartini and Drinks & Co.) were packed to the rafters where as 83 was bone dry empty.
I insisted we still give it a try for one drink. We sat in the outdoor balcony style area by the entrance which was pleasant enough. We had missed the very attractive happy hour (our mistake!) but still ordered a round of drinks and settled in. I must admit that the menu was rather limited with only two choices of bottled beer. You could argue that the cocktail and shots selection make up for this but if that isn’t your thing…well…I’m afraid you are a bit stuck!
The live DJ was doing his best to rouse the few people sitting inside but to no avail. I do wonder how the DJ’s feel in these situations as I myself would struggle to raise myself, let alone a small group of strangers (perhaps this is one of the reasons I am not a DJ though…that and my complete lack of knowledge of song mixing and turntables I suppose).
One thing that does make the bar worth a visit is the colourful art on the walls. I particularly liked the French bulldog portraits. The dark interior and flashy art gives the place a slight feel of a hip Paris bar but it doesn’t quite hit the spot. Like many other bars in Singapore, there just isn’t that authentic feel.
Overall, the bar is decently priced and very attractive if you are able to visit between 5-9pm, but do be aware that there are better alternatives along Club Street and across at Ann Siang Hill.