Famed NYC bar Employees Only opens in Singapore this month

SINGAPORE, June 7 — Famed New York City-based speakeasy Employees Only (EO) is opening its second branch in the middle of this month. It will be located at 112 Amoy Street, with a 2,000 sq ft space.

News of the cocktail bar and restaurant’s Singapore outlet — its first one outside of New York — started spreading earlier this year, but the restaurant released more details yesterday in a media release.

On locating their second outlet here, Igor Hadzismajlovic, one of the bar’s partners who is spearheading the project in Asia, said: “We’ve had our eye on the flourishing hospitality scene in Singapore for years and couldn’t be more excited to call this city a second home for EO.”

Employees Only first opened in Manhattan’s West Village neighbourhood, and had ranked number four in Drinks International’s World’s 50 Best Bars 2015.

Hadzismajlovic is working with New York City native Joshua Schwartz, who, along with his wife Sarissa Rodriguez Schwartz, is a six-year veteran of the Singapore nightlife scene operating such popular venues as Pangaea, Bang Bang and Match.

Its opening team will include key members from New York, including Steve Schneider, EO’s award-winning principal bartender and star of the 2013 documentary Hey Bartender, its executive chef Julia Jaksic, Partner Eric Lincoln, and general manager Rachel Tow.

The Singapore location, said the release, will transport the New York outlet’s core design elements, including its curving serpentine bar and Art Deco-inspired aesthetic, and will similarly evoke an ambiance of fun and frivolity reminiscent of the 1920’s and 30’s era through its buzzy speakeasy atmosphere, retro décor, soft sepia lighting and evocative candlelight,

The bar will also be partnering with HomePolish, a New York-based interior design firm, to curate specific period pieces.

“It’s absolutely a priority for us to create the same ambiance and energy that EO has become so cherished for,” said Schneider. He will be leading the training for his team of Singaporean bartenders; which will see them learn about spirits and gather technical cocktail making skills, including speed bartending.

Schneider added that they will “adapt some of our offerings to appeal to local Singaporean palates, while also staying loyal to the EO brand that so many around the world know and love”.

Cocktails on the menu include Ready Fire Aim, which has mezcal, fresh lime juice and house-made honey-pineapple syrup with dashes of Hellfire Bitters; and EO’s Manhattan, which has rye whiskey and Italian vermouth stirred with orange curaçao and dashes of Angostura Bitters.

Dinner menu will include Jaksic’s meat specialties like table-side hand cut beef tartar, bacon wrapped lamb chops with salsa verde and bone marrow poppers — pastry shells filled with Bordelaise Sauce and veal marrow garnished with lemony micro green salad. — TODAY

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