Refill your boiler at Tanjong Pagar’s new railway-themed steampunk bar

A rendering of Rails’ interior shows gears and cogwheels on display. Image: Rails
A rendering of Rails’ interior shows gears and cogwheels on display. Image: Rails

There’s always room for another watering hole in the already intoxicated Tanjong Pagar district, which we all know was once a railway nexus connecting Singapore to Malaysia. 

Take that inspiration and couple it with steam-powered, retro-futurist fantasy – and lots of booze – and you get Rails, a steampunk bar inspired by the now-closed Tanjong Pagar Railway Station as well as the Jinrikisha Station shopping center, which used to be a depot for rickshaws in the early 1900s. 

It was created by A Phat Cat Collective, the same team behind popular retro-themed bars Nineteen80 and Pinball Wizard. But instead of arcade games and all things neon, Rails serves up adventurous cocktails and heavy mains in a cave-like space decked out in 19th-century industrial artifacts. Think cogwheels, gears, and an air of Victorian-era mystery filled with house and disco beats to bop to from reputable local DJs including Brendon P and James Selva.

Guests arrive through a vintage scissor gate elevator before getting off onto what looks like a train platform straight out of a Harry Potter film. Other vintage props on display include a clock tower and a wall of repurposed old books.

Sink back in their leather sofa seats to enjoy peculiar cocktails like the Jinrikisha Spritzer (S$18), which pays homage to the Jinrikisha rickshaw station with gin spritzer, homemade honey-fermented lemon, preserved lime peel and coconut water; the Apothecary (S$24) is made with Chinese herbal syrup Pei Pa Kao, Amaro liquor and minty cognac; and the Murder On The Orient Express (S$25) is a licorice lace of absinthe, coffee liqueur, pear, pineapple and orange juice shaken with charcoal powder.

Chow down on Southern U.S. food by partnering restaurant Chix Hot Chicken. The menu offers a signature burger Soul Slider (S$8.90), which comes with tempura-battered boneless chicken thighs drenched in smoky paprika and mayo sauce and coriander slaw; or The Pepperjack (S$9.90), which is topped with peppery Monterey Jack cheese with yuzu sauce. They also have sandwiches, wraps and sides like chicken wings, tater tots and fried chicken bits. 

Visualization of the glass-paneled bar with exposed brass pipes. Image: Rails
Visualization of the glass-paneled bar with exposed brass pipes. Image: Rails
The bar’s Soul Slider and Dirty Taters. Photos: Rails
The bar’s Soul Slider and Dirty Taters. Photos: Rails

FIND IT
Rails
21 Tanjong Pagar Road #01-02
Open 5pm to 10:30pm, Tuesday to Saturday; 2pm to 9pm on Sunday; closed Monday

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CITY: SINGAPORECATEGORY: FOOD & DRINKSUB-CATEGORIES: BARS & NIGHTLIFE, F&B NEWS

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