The following establishments constitute a chronicle of the relative non-successes amongst the efforts of Singaporean gay entrepreneurs to carve a profitable niche in the limited pink market. Some of these businesses may have closed for reasons other than cash-flow problems, so it may not be fair to label all of them as 'failures'.
The factors that prevented them from taking off may have included poor location, small size, high rent, lack of focus, insufficient advertising, incorrect pricing, undifferentiated service, partnership disputes and many others.
It is hoped that after a decade of recording these establishments, a meta-analysis of the factors which led to their demise may be made and be instructive to future gay entrepreneurs.
Saturday night men's party. Even though it was located in the heart of Tanjong Pagar, it was not very popular, probably due to the presence of larger, well-established bars and discos all around. It opened in 2003 and closed down in 2005. The location has been taken over by an establishment called Freeze.
57 Neil Rd (next to Taboo), tel: 6227-6772. A new kid on the karaoke scene, gay-owned and managed. It offers a very wide choice of songs from the region, even Thai and Japanese. It has friendly staff and a very talented young boss. To ensure that the air stays cool and fresh, the pub is fitted out with ionizers and air fresheners. The simple, modern decor gives the place a cosy and warm ambiance. Drinks are reasonably priced with frequent special promotions for customers. It opens daily from 6pm to 3am.
- dbl 0,, - a mainstream disco at #01-01/02, 222, Queen Street which held its gay night unusually on Saturdays instead of Sundays. It functioned as such only from 2001 to 2002 because it could not compete with the other dedicated gay discos like Happy and Why Not? for the pink market. It was the venue for Crystal Ball, a charity event co-organised by Fridae and AfA in aid of HIV patients.
Located across the road from Boat Quay, the pub came alive every Friday night with Top 40 and R&B hits, a packed dance floor and al fresco area. It was a good bet for an action-packed girls-only night out. It opened in 2003 and closed in 2005.
Spas and SaunasEdit
- Papillon- A gay sauna in Robertson Quay. Its small size and location away from the gay-frequented districts of Tanjong Pagar and Chinatown were probably instrumental in preventing it from achieving mass popularity. It opened in 2004 and closed in mid-2005.
Photo albums of gay cruising venues in Singapore: