When US realist artist Edward Hopper composed the iconic Nighthawks in 1942 – a tableau featuring three disparate night owls in a nondescript 24-hour diner – little did he know that it would prove to be a painting that launched a thousand hospitality venues of its type.
Such is the marked discord and subtle tension between the patrons in the venue, the work has inspired intrigue, stories and spin-offs as to the characters’ lives. Just so at Peter Chua’s Night Hawk, set in Tanjong Pagar, opened in May 2022 – a bar that has swiftly risen to the zenith of Singapore’s cocktail scene.
For its originality, unique drink design and for bringing something fresh to the highly-developed Singapore cocktail scene, Night Hawk has been named the Campari One To Watch as part of Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2023.
Featuring just 22 seats, Night Hawk is a futuristic, dystopian take on what Hopper might have imagined should he have put oil to canvas in the 21st century. Occupying a diminutive site, Chua engaged a leading architect to maximise each facet of the space: seats fold to give guests room, the back bar fridges slide away for bartender ease and space is created for server movement through clever alcoves in the bar.
The futurism extends to the drinks. Best described as classic but with modern twists, the cocktails are strong and long, with interesting takes across the menu which includes the eponymous Nighthawk – a vodka, bespoke syrup and coffee-based serve similar to the Espresso Martini, arguably the seminal nighthawk’s drink.
A bar showing true originality in a city already ripe with innovation, Night Hawk is a worthy winner of the Campari One To Watch Award 2023, presented to a bar in the extended list of bars ranked from 51 to 100 that has the potential to break into the main list in future years.