Anyone who’s into the cocktail scene here would’ve visited Junior The Pocket Bar at some point.
Tucked inconspicuously away in an alley on Tanjong Pagar Road, the 10-seater was known for its exciting rotating concepts with menus and decor that revolved around the chosen theme — which by the way has run the gamut from tiki to New Orleans since opening.
If you’ve always found it impossible to make a reservation over the weekend, the good news is that the popular establishment has finally moved to a bigger space, this time on Ann Siang Hill. It’ll now also be independently owned by proprietor Joe Alessandroni, with Hazel Long helming the bar and Peter Chua as Bartender in Residence and equity partner in the business.
Despite now housing 25 seats, the bar still promises the same intimacy and cosiness that it has come to be known for. The shophouse space is nestled behind Maxi Coffee Bar, a location which will no doubt be convenient when the “Maxi After Dark” collaboration kicks off between the two.
“We simply outgrew the old space and needed to expand our hosting capabilities to continue providing the same great experience. It’s tough being a regular if there are times when you can’t come in. Simultaneously, we wanted to have a core Junior identity so we can keep the fan favourites on the menu. We will continue to rotate concepts as that keeps us creatively engaged and consistently gives our guests new things to look forward to and try,” said Joe Alessandroni.
The current concept, Washi, might have been carried over from its previous space but expect an updated menu that includes Junior’s Homebrews & Highballs. These house-fermented beverages — with flavours that include Thai Ginger Beer and Lacto Lime Soda — can be made boozy with alcohol or be kept boujee without.
The fifth volume also sees 1980s Shinjuku-inspired cocktails like Crane and Panda, which play on Japanese flavours with ingredients like kyoho grape, Sakura vermouth, and sparkling sake botanic vodka. If you’re feeling adventurous, put your trust in Junior’s Eat The Rich menu, which consists of cocktail and small bites pairings. Otherwise, bar snacks like the Tako Wasabi and Roast Pumpkin Hummus with yellow miso will keep you happy all night.
As a locally rooted, modern bar, Junior The Pocket Bar will work with local artists to evoke the theme du jour, most notably with the mural wall that spans the seating area of the space.