The Cufflink Club recently set a milestone when it celebrated its fourth anniversary at the end of June, and it did with three whole days of partying. And rightly so – surviving four years in Singapore’s combative F&B and nightlife scene, with its astronomical rentals and high staffing costs, can be considered a proud achievement.
But The Cufflink Club did more than survive. When then a slightly younger British mixologist Joel Fraser started the cocktail bar in 2012, the Keong Saik Road and Jiak Chuan Road enclave was still a rather sleazy area dotted with dodgy KTV bars and other shops whose businesses were better remained unknown.
“When I started The Cufflink Club, I sought to create a user-friendly bar where guests could have a drink or ten, without any airs or ever being refused service or entry. I founded the bar when Keong Saik and Jiak Chuan were still rough around the edges,” recalls Joel Fraser. Today the area is packed with progressive eateries and cutting-edge bars, many who have followed in The Cufflink Club’s wake in revitalising the area.
Not only that, The Cufflink Club has also spawned an alumni all who have gone on to start big things on their own. The Spiffy Dapper‘s Abhishek George cut his teeth at bartending at The Cufflink Club in its earliest days, while Christian Hartmann was there from 2013 until 2015 when he left to start Latin American joint Vasco. Most recently, Nick Haas moved on June this year when he founded the industry-beloved Skinny’s Lounge.
That celebration is not over, because the magic at The Cufflink Club continues. The bar has introduced a curated monthly rotating menu comprising six new drinks available from Mondays to Thursdays created by The Cufflink Club’s current bartending trio, Charlie Faggotter, and brothers Aaron and Andrew Goodall (pictured above, with owner Joel Fraser). That menu is backed another special menu by Fraser’s roster of bartender friends from around the world, an opportunity for the bar to showcase more elaborate creations.
And if you’re nostalgic for a little bit of the past, try The Cufflink Club’s 12-cocktail flagship menu, which features a retrospective of the bar’s best-selling cocktails (which changes monthly). Inspired by pop culture and literature, the cheekily named cocktails include the Porn Star ($28), Joel Fraser’s twist on the famed Pornstar Martini; the Nordic Hipster ($25), a blend of gin, dark cherry, cinnamon, orange and citrus by Christian Hartmann of Vasco; as well as the Testarossa ($24), an Italian-inspired cocktail with a heady blend of Aperol, wildberry, strawberry, Amalfi lemon and balsamic vinegar by bar manager Aaron Goodall.
Interestingly, Fraser is also looking further afield. “After four years, we’re still going strong and I’m proud to say that we will expanding our Singapore-based brand regionally to Hong Kong later this year,” he shares.