lets us in on the secrets of one of Singapore’s top rated bars - The Secret Mermaid…

Densely packed cities love their hideaways - so picture a bar, sneakily disguised within a restaurant - hard to get your head around, right?

Well Shinkansen in Singapore’s business district is a casual sushi restaurant by day and by night it turns into a hidden 25-seater bar - introducing The Secret Mermaid.

The Secret Mermaid’s owner, Howard Lo, chose its name as a nod to Shinkansen fish-centric cuisine. He has also spent most of his life in NYC and got inspiration from places like The Mermaid Inn and Mermaid Tavern.

The bar takes its secret identity very seriously. It’s located below street level, accessed only by a small black doorway in the Ocean Financial Centre’s walkway. Mr. Lo wanted to create a uniquely private experience so his no ‘shop front’ policy really is in tune with this attitude. This edgy hotspot is lit only by ceiling panels and truly is a one of a kind.

Doubling Up

The double usage of the Shinkansen space was an easy decision for Lo. The area “is one of the most high-trafficked walkways in Singapore because it links to the subway”.

Why wouldn’t you want to maximise the footfall in your business space? By simply being creative and thinking outside the box, this shrewd entrepreneur really has his finger on the pulse.

The inspiration for the bar stemmed from Lo’s time in New York. In his words, the Secret Mermaid is a: “romantic destination for a salary man or woman heading home but stopping off for a gin and tonic after a long day at the office.”

The Bar

The space replicates a distillery tasting room - authentic, with a wealth of heritage in every sip. But this isn’t a distillery, there’s no loyalty to any one brand but instead, a showcase of American craft spirits.

The bar features, what Lo says, is the largest list of American craft spirits in Asia, with 72 brands from 21 states. The spirits on offer are skillfully laid out by location, where the distillery is based and the need-to-know information to help you with your drink selection.

Some of the bar’s most popular savoury drinks reference Lo’s American background and include Midnight at Denny’s, made with raw egg and vodka and the Salmon Bloody Mary - you can just guess what’s in there.


Howard Lo is a true inspiration in the bartending scene. He has used his knowledge, ingenuity and creative thinking to further himself and set his business apart from its competitors.

Lo has maximising the profitability of his business and is setting a trend in a city that demands for you to be one step ahead of the game.

So I hear you ask - how do you replicate this? Well, to start with, it really calls for you to ask yourself the question that Lo asks himself - how can your bar be better? is the inspiring digital publication dedicated to good drinking and great living. The right cocktail at the right time; home-entertaining advice; essential recipes and indispensable spirits. Find out more @liquordotcom and Liquor on Facebook.