7 Things to Know About the Rejuvenated CQ @ Clarke Quay

The Rejuvenated CQ @ Clarke Quay
The Rejuvenated CQ @ Clarke Quay | What's There to Know and Enjoy

This was reported on late evening TV news on Apr 26. Presumably, featured in newspapers the following morning too.

The rejuvenated CQ @ Clarke Quay has officially opened! Singapore’s premiere riverside destination has never completely closed but for almost two years since Aug 2022, the entire entertainment district has been a bed of hoardings and retrofitting works. Not exactly a go-to place for a drink or a meal.

With the completion of the rejuvenation work, or asset enhancement initiative (AEI), the refreshed CQ @ Clarke Quay undergoes a marked transformation, with changes that might not be immediately obvious to those of us who used to thinking and seeing it as a nightlife district.

Without further ado, here are seven key changes and features of the new CQ @ Clarke Quay to know about.

Naturally, nothing beats experiencing these changes in person. And so I urge you to make a trip there. Have a coffee, eat a sundae, check out the music scene and street performances, too, or enjoy an international meal! If you’re a pawrent, you must not forget to bring your furry buddies along.

CQ @ Clarke Quay Official Launch
The unveiling of the refresh CQ @ Clarke Quay was graced by the Guest-of-Honour Ms Low Yen Ling, Minister of State for the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, & Ministry of Trade & Industry, alongside representatives from CapitaLand, industry partners, tenants, media, and members of the public.
CQ @ Clarke Quay Fire Fish Mural
The Fire Fish mural at Tan Tye Place.
Yip Yew Chong
Local artist Yip Yew Chong, who painted the Fire Fish mural together with tobyato.

1. A New Urban Legend, the Fire Fish, Takes Centrestage

The highlight of the official launch on Apr 26 was an eight-minute drone show over the Singapore River titled “The Journey of the FireFish.” Now, there’s an actual aquatic species called the Firefish Goby but that’s not quite what’s referred to here. Instead, CQ @ Clarke Quay’s “Fire Fish” refers to a huge mural at the Block B zone that covers the facades of six warehouses alongside Tan Tye Place.

Painted by local artists Yip Yew Chong and tobyato, the mural is a modern myth created by the two homegrown artists that features the historical firewood trade in the Clarke Quay. The whimsical artwork also pays homage to the distinctive red and white Teochew bumboats that once lined the Singapore River, with scenes of storytellers entertaining coolies on Read Bridge accompanying the reimagined vessels.

If you check closely, you can even see the artists at work! Hint: Yip and tobyato are at the turn of the U that is Tan Tye Place.

CQ @ Clarke Quay Riverfront Zone
The Riverfront. It’s looks the same as before but with refreshed facades and all. By the way, the bluebell-shaped canopies have been refreshed with new membranes and high-volume-low-speed (HVLS) fans to improve thermal comfort.
Clarke Quay Sustainable Lighting System
The original cool lighting of the Angel structures and bluebell-shaped canopies were changed to warm lighting to complement the heritage buildings. These LED lightings are also more energy efficient with lesser maintenance required.

2. CQ @ Clarke Quay is a Day to Night Lifestyle Destination, With Three Zones

I think the biggest change for the revitalised Clarke Quay is that it is now much more family and lifestyle-oriented; nightlife and riverside dining are no longer the only attractions. It’s now a so-called day-to-night lifestyle destination.

There are also three interconnected zones. These buildings of these zones have, of course, long been there but they are today more separate with what they house:


  • The Riverfront (Blocks A and D) features riverside dining in an alfresco or heritage shophouse setting.
  • The Warehouses (Block B) offer a blend of retail, lifestyle, and F&B concepts in a conserved godown. It’s also where the Fire Fish mural is.
  • The Circuit (Block C and E) showcases “high-energy” concepts, entertainment, and F&B establishments.

For me, I think The Warehouses display the most obvious tenant changes. I mean, there’s a Fairprice Finest here now. A Swee Lee branch, too, one that focuses more on experiential and community space rather than, you know, selling instruments.

Fairprice Finest Clarke Quay
Fairprice Finest Clarke Quay has a pretty sizable wine area as well as a food experience zone.
Swee Lee Clarke Quay
Experiential space at Swee Lee Clarke Quay. Cool, isn’t it? It’s directly underneath a restored skylight too. (See below)

Fairprice Finest Clarke Quay also has a food experience zone that offers “You Pick, We Cook” services as well as cocktails infused with local flavours that are exclusive to CQ @ Clarke Quay. Since the whole of Clarke Quay will still be a travel attraction, there is also a curated selection of Singaporean products here for travelers to bring home.

CQ @ Clarke Quay Pet-Friendly Amenity
Pet parking facility at the Riverfront Zone.

3. Pet-Friendly

Yup, CQ @ Clarke Quay is now pet-friendly! Scattered throughout the zones is a comprehensive suite of pet-friendly amenities that include pet hydration bays, waste bins, and designated pet parking zones.

Pet owners can furthermore enjoy dining at a selection of eight pet-friendly establishments along the picturesque riverside, each labelled with pet-friendly logos for easy identification.

Come 3Q 2024, the Fort Canine Swimming Club will offer grooming services, an active daycare programme, and curated amenities tailored for the ultimate canine experience. Your beloved furry companion can luxuriate while you enjoy a drink or shop for groceries.

Yin Bar Singapore
Nightlife entertainment will continue to be a major attraction, for example, live singing at Yin Bar Singapore.

4. Late-Night Entertainment Will Still Be an Attraction

If you’ve been, erm, reveling at Clarke Quay for years, despair not. You didn’t lose a party ground.

Zouk is still there and will “expand our programming beyond nightclub to cater to a broader audience,” according to their CEO.

Other nightlife offerings include the new Mexican taqueria Señor Taco, which will offer mescal and handcrafted agave cocktails, Mexican cuisine, and live Latin band performances. There are also arcade bar Level Up with their nostalgic games machines, K.STAR Karaoke which features 22 futuristic-themed rooms, and live music bars with international cuisine along the riverfront like Chupitos, Cuba Libre Café & Bar, Little Saigon, Octapas by El Mesa, Simply Retro, and Warehouse.

Angel Canopies
The Angel Canopies were upgraded with sustainability in mind.

5. Sustainability Was a Key Focus of the Revitalisation

I’m sure you’re familiar with those big, umbrella-like canopies that shelter most of the inner streets? For me, I’m so used to seeing them that I can’t even remember when they were installed. I also didn’t know they’re called Angel Canopies and I’ve long forgotten that they serve an important cooling function.

Well, the “Angels” were a major part of the AEI, too, futuristically upgraded with sustainability in mind. To go into a bit of technical talk, the canopies have been “upgraded with advanced Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) membranes that optimise daylight condition and reduce solar heat gain by 70 percent along all internal streets. New omnidirectional fans have also been installed, lowering the environmental temperature by approximately 2°C through evaporative mist cooling, reducing energy consumption by approximately 50 percent.”

What all these figures and science lesson talk mean is that the upgraded canopies will help CQ @ Clarke Quay save 1.03 million kilowatt-hour each year. A savings that’s about the annual electricity consumption of 240 four-room HDB flats.

Sustainability aside, yup, the new canopies work. You’ll know what I mean the moment you leave their “protection.”

Other sustainability improvements include chiller upgrades with 30 percent improvement in efficiency and the extension of the lifespans of various components of the Angel Canopies. These improvements received recognition and affirmation with CQ @ Clarke Quay’s Green Mark certification upgraded to Green Mark GoldPLUS by the Building and Construction Authority.

New Read Bridge
The seats to the right of the sign incorporate upcycled wood pieces from Twa Kows.

6. Efforts Were Made to Preserve the Heritage and History of Clarke Quay

I think I read or heard somewhere a long time ago that Clarke Quay is the biggest cluster of historical godowns in Singapore; a Teochew enclave too. I also remember walking past the deserted godowns one late afternoon in 1993, smelling junk and funk, and wondering why everything was so derelict.

Everything changed in 1994 (I think) when the cluster was reconceptualised as an entertainment zone. In subsequent years, constant change and tenant nature reinforced the new image of the enclave as a vibrant nightlife district. But this new image somewhat came at the cost of the historical identity of the area being buried

It thus heartens me to see this latest revitalisation making an effort to preserve the heritage and cultural legacy of Clarke Quay. Seven warehouses have been restored by preserving their godown typology while adorning them in new colours. Heritage jack roofs were also reinstated and glass skylights were incorporated to draw natural light in. One example of the latter is the warehouse that’s now home to Swee Lee Clarke Quay.

There’s even homage to the Twa Kows, i.e., the cargo bumboats that used to line the riverside and are now cruise boats and restaurants. Other than the Fire Fish mural, the new seats at Read Bridge incorporate upcycled wood pieces from the Twa Kows. Speaking of the bridge, wheelchair access has been installed.

Clarke Quay History
History of Clarke Quay.

And for those who like to know a little more, a sheltered passageway connecting the Riverside to the fountain square has a terse write-up of the history.

It’s good to see Clarke Quay celebrating today’s lifestyles without forgetting the past.

Singapore Clarke Quay
Come visit the refreshed CQ @ Clarke Quay.

7. There’s More to Come in the Latter Part of 2024!

Here’s a preview of what’s more to come in 2024.

I’ve already mentioned Fort Canine Swimming Club. From May 1 to 26, the new Project Godown – Secrets of Clarke Quay tour with Tribe Tours will happen, allowing all to embark on a captivating time travel adventure to uncover stories of the iconic godowns and shophouses along the Singapore River.

Opening also in 3Q 2024, wellness enthusiasts can embark on a holistic fitness journey with LAVA, which will offer three exciting new concepts: Reformer Pilates, Kickboxing, and Electro Muscle Stimulation training.

There will be fun-filled day activities, contests, and giveaways for furry friends in the third quarter of 2024. Come the festive year-end, I’m sure CQ @ Clarke Quay will be a hub of fun and unique activities too.

Follow CQ @ Clarke Quay on Socials at

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ClarkeQuay

Instagram: http://www.instagram/clarkequaysg

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@clarkequaysg

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7 Things to Know About the Rejuvenated CQ @ Clarke Quay
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7 Things to Know About the Rejuvenated CQ @ Clarke Quay
The rejuvenated CQ @ Clarke Quay is a day-to-night lifestyle destination, with food, shopping, fun activities, and pet-friendly amenities.

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