Close Shave by contemporary artisanal barbershop Sultans of Shave is a hidden speakeasy along North Canal Road that aims to be a cut above the rest.
In our decade of covering Singapore’s cocktail scene we’ve come across many fun and quirky concepts. One of the latest? Close Shave, a hidden cocktail speakeasy bar tucked on an upper floor of a five-foot way shophouse along North Canal Road.
Because this is possibly the first time we’ve encountered a cocktail bar inspired by hairstyles. But it makes sense, once you realise it’s opened by the folks behind bespoke barbershop chain Sultans of Shave.
Close Shave is styled to be an upscale hair parlour of the 1940s with hints of Art Deco. There’s the main bar where you first enter; beyond is a more private room, along with an alfresco space for those who prefer to enjoy their tipple outdoors. The bar and the rooms are very, very dark – perfect for a cocktail bar, but probably not the best lighting when you’re getting a haircut.
It’s a decent try, but it’s really just a cosy cocktail watering hole with some salon trappings. I would have loved to see this tucked behind an actual barbershop.
Where Close Shave gets right is its cocktail menu. Its debut menu offers ten signature cocktails, each of which takes inspiration from iconic ‘dos as defined by famous personalities as well as those from the silver screen.
Combing through the list you’ll find the likes of America’s Sweetheart – The Rachel, for example, a sweet popcorn-flavoured highball named for Jennifer Aniston’s character on popular American sitcom ‘Friends’, while Victoria Beckham gets her own with Posh Spice – The Bob Cut that is a spiced twist on the Negroni.
Bob Marley’s dreads is represented by Wah Gwaan – Dreadlocks, a tiki Mai Tai take. Then there’s Tomb Raider – The Ponytail, the fictional Lara Croft from the adventure video game series (which later also spawned three movies). She lends her swooshing locks to a chocolate-lashed, whiskey-based cocktail.
There’s more. The mullet. The buzz cut. Even the beehive. You get the idea.
You can get your classic cocktails in too here at Close Shave, if you tire of these fancier, more cutting-edge creations. We hear that the next iteration of the menu is due this March, in time for when Taylor Swift comes to town.
Is Close Shave set to be a buzzing space? And will it make the cut in Singapore’s cocktail scene? Only time will tell.
Follow us on Telegram to get updated on events and other spirited announcements!