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Explore: The New Zouk

8 Questions You Should Ask About The New Zouk. (This story first appeared in Issue 1367, Dec 29, 2016.)

The clubbing institution has finally opened the doors at its new digs in Clarke Quay. Herewith, answers to burning questions about Zouk’s new home that even regulars will find useful. (Photos: Chee Yan)

  • Where do I meet my friends?
  • The best place to convene is at the entrance (duh), holed in the same back alley that used to be the entrance of the venue’s previous incarnations Ministry of Sound and Zirca. At the main foyer, regular, guest list and member queues are clearly demarcated — undoubtedly less confusing than the disparate rows at Jiak Kim where bouncers often had to re-direct inebriated revellers to the correct line. While you’re waiting your turn, take a #zouksingapore#shoefie with the graphic tiles emblazoned with the iconic Zouk Eye motif.

Walled in: Jahan Loh's graffiti-esque masterpiece is a collapsible wall that opens up combine Zouk and Phuture.

  • Is the new Zouk bigger?
  • It may feel more spacious, but at 898 sq metres, it’s the same size as the old Phuture and Zouk combined (the previous Zouk complex, including Wine Bar and Velvet Underground, was 3,500 sq metres). It can accommodate more party-goers now, all 2,600 of them. Zouk and Phuture can be merged into a massive super-club — this street art mural at Phuture adorned with local artist Jahan Loh’s graffiti-esque masterpiece is actually a collapsible wall that opens up to combine both zones.
  • Where are the new Wine Bar and Velvet Underground and Lounge?
  • They haven’t been transplanted over, but a fourth concept will soon be unveiled in the first quarter of this year. Meanwhile, famished revellers no longer have to scarf down hotdogs next to the roadside stand like they used to. Resto-bar Red Tail (from Clarke Quay’s main taxi stand, it’s virtually impossible to miss) is the place to chill over drinks and food before you schlep to the dancefloor. Just don’t call it the new Wine Bar.

Chill out: There's no longer a dedicated members area, though Zouk Members can still make table bookings for the VIP pods and tables surround the dancefloor.

  • Where’s the members area?
  • There’s no longer a dedicated members area, though Zouk members can still make table bookings for the VIP pods and tables surrounding the dancefloor, and more private tables strategically cordoned off by standing screens that line part of the balcony on the second storey. In the pipeline for members: a revamped membership programme with refreshed perks and “potential tiering up schemes”, says Zouk Consumer Marketing and PR Director Sofie Chandra.

Break time: The washrooms are located on the second floor. They are bigger and that means shorter queues.

  • Where are the restrooms?
  • Schelp to the second storey. The new bigger washrooms mean shorter queues (hopefully). Just like old times, the male and female restrooms share a common wash basin space outside, which any self-respecting Zouk-goer will know is the next best place after the dancefloor to mingle with that hottie you’ve been eyeing all night.

Come closer: The baggage counter is wedged to the left of this installation of metal swirls.

Deposite your bags here: This is Zouk's only baggage counter.

  • Where do I dump my bulky bags?
  • After you’ve sorted out your entry at the foyer, turn right to Zouk’s main entrance. Wedged to the left of this installation of metal swirls is the club’s sole baggage counter (comparted to two in its previous home). If you want to skip the queues or have gold bars hidden in your bags, stow them away in hideaway storage spaces under tables, sofas and stools throughout Zouk and Phuture. Yeah, just like you would in a Korean BBQ joint. Just don’t leave at the end of the night intoxicated and happy… and without your stuff.

Area 51 is in Zouk (sorta):This alien-looking decor is made from lightweight metal used in aircraft, and houses a dazzling theatre of lights.

  • Wait, is that a UFO in Zouk?
  • Besides your Drake-sque dance moves, this spaceship feature is the main draw at the dancefloor of the main Zouk arena. Pretend you’re in Rogue One with this suspended massive ‘mothership’ , an out-of-this-world centerpiece crafted from lightweight metal used in aircraft, and houses a dazzling theatre of lights, so the cavernous two-storey neo-industrial, futuristic Zouk can be awash with endless opportunities for fancy lighting and Instagram Stories. Despite Zouk’s departure from Jiak Kim’s artsy Gaudi-inspired interior, there’s still a bit of Barcelona found at its Clarke Quay home —the installation was constructed in Barcelona by a lighting firm based there.
  • What if I still miss the old Zouk?
  • Snuggle up to… the speakers. The club has brought over its custom sound system from its former premises, and the four-speaker stacks still remain on the dancefloor, just as Zouk old-timers would remember from before.

Zouk is at The Cannery, 3C River Valley Road. Visit zoukclub.com for more info.

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