Lifestyle and entertainment group A Phat Cat Collective has just opened bar and lounge in the heart of Tanjong Pagar in Singapore that bills itself as an escape for the intrepid pleasure seeker. Going by the name of Rails, the space draws inspiration from within its own locale, borrowing elements from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and Jinrikisha Station for an all together steampunk-inspired aesthetic.
“Tanjong Pagar is such a vibrant neighbourhood and we were really inspired by its rich history and future possibilities it holds, said Joshua Pillai, Managing Director of A Phat Cat Collective. “With Rails, we wanted to bring the spirit of the old world and merge it with the idea of being a transient station for new adventures.”
Upon arrival, guests enter through a vintage elevator shuttered with steel scissor gates before arriving at the bar, which is housed in a Victorian-era underground themed railway reminiscent of the iconic Platform 9 3⁄4 of the Harry Potter series.
The DJ console is a key fixture with an LED-lit installation of a steampunk clock tower, studded with gears and cogwheels that trail up to the ceiling.
To drink, Rails presents a trove of libations that also abide by the steampunk theme and fuse together plenty of local traditions such as the Apothecary, which carries a familiar oriental and minty remedy of cognac, Amaro and the house-hold remedy Pei Pa Kao.
Food, however, is the way to our heart and fried chicken is the vessel to get there. For this, Rails will remain at the top of our post-COVID wishlist since its food programme is powered by Chix Hot Chicken, a Jalan Pisang joint famed for their Nashville fried chicken. That said, carnivores and herbivores are both welcome since all dishes available in meat and meat-free options.
If you’re wondering why this belongs on Mixmag Asia, it’s because of the lounge’s music policy. Music is a key component to all A Phat Cat Collective concepts, and diners at Rails will be treated to a range of house and disco, downtempo and world music curated by seasoned conductors that we know as Joshua P, Aurora, Brendon P, James Selva and more (yes, you remember these names from Kilo Lounge).
Rails is the third concept from A Phat Cat Collective, the driving force behind arcade bars NINETEEN80 and Pinball Wizard, and follows the same conceptual philosophy of a thematic hideaway that is instantly memorable and experiential.
Initially scheduled to open in April 2020 as a bar and dance club, COVID-19 saw the concept shift into a dining and drinking spot, but let's be real, if you're a club owner and you're not thinking about converting and doing the same, you might not make it through this. Adapt, and survive, and all the power to you.