Hit up these arcade bars and clubs for drinks, games and throwback vibes… Plus a load of snaps for Instagram!
We’re living in a time where nostalgia is a major selling point, and what’s old will soon become cool again. Think grainy film photography, vintage decor, retro fashion and, of course, arcade games (just add booze!). Gather your nocturnal livin’ crew, stat: Here are the best arcade bars and clubs for some button smashing fun.
The scene: Off you go, down the stairs and into a neon-lit, checkerboard-tiled space (pictured top). Cherry Discotheque serves bucketloads of retro vibes, complete with vintage television sets greeting you at the door and arcade booths hiding at the back. Have a go at the games (Street Fighter, anyone?) or party under the disco balls at this 80s-inspired haven – crazy shoulder pads not compulsory.
The spins: Reminisce the time of Nokia phones and frosted blue eyeshadow with This Is The 90s. And no, this party doesn’t just play Britney Spears’ debut album on repeat (though you won’t hear us complaining); the spins will take you from the 80s all the way to the 00s. Feeling emo? This Is Heartbreak lets you jam to anthems about your ex. From Avril Lavigne and Fall Out Boy to Dua Lipa and Blackbear, any era’s music is fair game for this.
This Is The 90s & This Is Heartbreak, free entry for the first 100 ladies before midnight, standard entry at $30 with one free drink | Cherry Discotheque, 133 Cecil Street, Singapore 069535
The scene: Let your hair down with fellow 80s and 90s fans, because it’s throwbacks all around at this kitschy arcade bar. Nineteen80’s old school vibes extend to the bar menu, with cocktail names like Ice-T “Hustler” Remix (essentially a Long Island iced tea) and Super Disco Blend (think Blue Lagoon) to fuel your gaming and revelry.
The spins: Fight For Your Right to dance to your fave pop, rock and alternative tunes from the 80s and 90s every Thursday as you load up on booze. When the work week’s over, go Radio Ga Ga on Fridays and Do The Hustle on Saturdays, with the DJs dishing out classic tracks from yesteryear.
Fight For Your Right, Radio Ga Ga & Do The Hustle, $18 cover charge after 10pm with one free drink | Nineteen80, #01-05, 21 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088444
The scene: Posher than most (it is in Marina Bay Sands, after all), Avenue is a speakeasy, karaoke lounge and arcade bar all rolled into one. (Find it behind the Theatres Bus Stop on Bayfront Avenue.) Sister to Singapore’s largest nightclub Marquee, Avenue is where you can sip on a fancy concoction on plush leather seats and try your hand at a not-so-sober round of Skeeball, mini bowling or pool. The swish cocktails include Eve’s Garden, a citrusy blend of Bulldog London gin, Pimms No.1, lemon juice and ginger beer; and Dancing in the Dark, a rum and cherry cordial with Plantation 3 Star White, Maraschino and black cherry puree.
The spins: While Avenue’s parties aren’t heavy on the throwback beats, we’d nip in on Supadupafly Fridays, where old school hip hop gets thrown into the turntable line-up alongside open format antics and sing-out-loud jams.
Supadupafly, admission by doorman discretion or table reservation | Avenue, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956
The scene: Hiding within the nondescript basement of Sim Lim Square, Pinball Wizard is the only bar/club in Singapore dedicated specifically to pinball, and we’re so here for it. Between the bar counter (try glitter shooters like the vodka-based Peanut Butter & Jelly), dance floor and the row of pinball machines (with retro versions like Lost World and Meteor), you’ll be stuck here for hours, fosho.
The spins: Have a flippin’ fun Friday at the Flip-O-Rama bashes that’ll take you through nineties and noughties hits. Still going strong? Turn up the bass for round two with Saturday’s Boombox blasting hip hop, R&B and 90s bangers.
Fip-O-Rama & Boombox, complimentary entry all night | Pinball Wizard, #B1-29, Sim Lim Square, 1 Rochor Canal Road, Singapore 188504
The scene: Neon signs, graffitied walls, air hockey tables, claw machines, Bishi Bashi and other arcade staples deck the space at Level Up. Known as the only arcade bistro bar on our shores, this colourful watering hole also serves mains like aglio olio or fish and chips, in case you haven’t got your dinner plans sorted. The setting is casual and the crowd skews young; we’d say pop in for pre-drinks and games to start a Friday night proper.
The spins: Expect fewer spins (except for special occasion parties) and more singing here. Instead of turntablism, Level Up’s regular line-up spotlights local musicians. Catch live performances by multi-genre boy band Hobo, soulful vocalist Jacklyn, triple trouble HeyBae and more.
Live performances, free entry | Level Up, #02-04, Block A, Clarke Quay, 3A River Valley Road, Singapore 179020