TOS talks to mixologist Ethan Leslie Leong and Avalon co-founder Steve Adelman about Avalon's newest addition, a private, members-only club called Spider Room
First published on 20 Nov 2012. Updated on 10 Dec 2012.
Acclaimed local mixologist Ethan Leslie Leong – having designed the cocktail selections at Bar Stories, Drink Culture (he also concocted Asia’s most expensive cocktail at Pangaea, just downstairs from Avalon, the $32,000 Jewel of Pangaea) and Maison Ikkoku Cocktail Bar – has created 13 cocktails inspired by Spider Room’s American heritage and the lounge’s nautical theme. We talk to Leong and Avalon co-founder Steve Adelman about Spider Room.
So what’s the concept behind Spider Room?
EL: Spider Room has its origins in LA and has a very American heritage, which is something we wanted to draw inspiration from. I also wanted to focus on the unique concept of the lounge, as well as its interior decor.
SA: Spider Room was supposed to be set up last year, but we were too busy working on Avalon. We couldn’t leave the space empty, so first we just plonked a bar in there, co-organised private events and waited for the right time to set it up to what it was supposed to be. I see Spider Room as not only a venue where our members can come and enjoy great services and premium cocktails, but also, in a bigger picture, attract celebrities and VIPs travelling into the country. We expect big Hollywood names to pop by, and we want to be the place that hosts them well. Singapore is almost turning into another Las Vegas – it’s probably what Vegas was five years ago and both really attract the tourist dollar.
Were there aspects of Spider Room that might prove challenging for a cocktail bar?
EL: Yes, of course. One challenge was to figure out how to transform handcrafted cocktails from street cocktail bars to such a megaclub, yet retaining the sophistication in taste. We have gone through more than 20 rounds of training to make sure that the mixologist team in Spider Room make all 13 cocktails perfectly. But at the end of the day, we’ll let our cocktails do the talking and the customers can be the judge.
SA: The key word is ‘mainstay’. We want Spider Room’s cocktail offerings and relaxing ambience to be the mainstay for revellers. We want to create a nightlife venue where non-partygoers can go to and have a drink. It’s a comfortable place for our members to enjoy themselves.
There are already 300 members and counting – and each of them can bring up to three guests. Will that be an issue in terms of venue size or capacity?
EL: All the drinks I’ve designed for the Spider Room’s cocktail program can be made swiftly by a well-trained mixologist team, yet retain the sophisticated taste that all good cocktails should have. I believe the team will be able to deliver the drinks with quality and style even if the room is packed. After all, the guests we expect at the Spider Room will be discerning enough to appreciate the art of cocktailing enough to not demand speed over quality. The friendly service staff of Spider Room will also be the main selling point behind the tasty cocktails. Size shouldn’t matter; it’s all about the experience. Having a Martini in Spider Room’s leather booths facing the skyline of Marina Bay with uplifting beats pulsing in the background – surely life can’t get any better.
Spider Room Level 3, Crystal Pavilion South, Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Ave (9363 5080). Bayfront. Wed-Sun 10pm-4am.