While visiting my brother in Singapore a few years back, I remember a bizarrely distasteful bar that I discovered in his neighborhood of Clarke Quay. It was called Clinic, and it was designed like a hospital with festive golden wheelchairs planted around cool, iron surgical tables.
When you entered the bar, there was a Clinic sign hanging over a flamboyant and leopard-printed dentist chair (perfect for a post-cocktail-coma tooth pulling?). The bar had a lounge to the right of the outdoor wheelchair sidewalk seating area that was peppered with at least one cockroach sticker (why?). The lounge was lined with silver cushions and positioned behind ER curtains that made it possible for the perplexed bar-goer to relax and get plastered in front of plastic skeletons dancing ominously over a sheer glass reflection.
At the Clinic, you could party into the wee hours under surgical lighting, sipping a cocktail like the X-Nurse’s Party (vodka, creme de cassis, lychee liqueur, orange juice, cranberry juice, served in a bucket of 6 shooters), a Sex on the Drip (vodka, rum, blue curacao, peach syrup, raspberry syrup, orange juice, pineapple juice, served in a blood bag), or a Chemical Babies (rum, midori melon, creme de cassis, pineapple juice, orange juice, drops of grenadine, served in 3 unique milk bottles). It appeared to me that all the drinks were available from an IV drip upon request.
I was enamored with this bar, unsure about whether or not it was a good idea to convert a solemn and serious hospital landscape into a hoppin’ hotspot, but apparently it’s been done before in Latvia. The place is called Hospitals Restaurant, and it is staffed with red-headed nurses spoon feeding the straight-jacketed clientele!
I remember walking over to Clinic before it opened one morning, snapping photos of creepy smiling skeletons resting on IV stands, frozen mid-air, joyous and perhaps ridiculously inappropriate (mocking us for assaulting our livers?). I stared with some trepidation at the line of shimmering folded wheelchairs flashing in the afternoon sun and considered the pack of cheerful blood orange barstools that somehow made the surreal setting light up with the promise of nightly intoxication via blood bag.
For those of you on your way to Singapore, alas, Clinic is currently deceased, but it is hoping to defibrillate soon.