Skip to content

Swee Lee Clarke Quay Cafe : Wine, Guitars and Song

Swee Lee Clarke Quay is the latest Swee Lee store in Singapore, their third after Bras Basah and Star Vista. With multiple personalities as a cafe, record shop, guitar store and musical venue, this is possibly their most innovative outlet. But is it the best?

Swee Lee Clarke Quay Cafe

Swee Lee Clarke Quay Cafe

Opened earlier this year in 2024, Swee Lee Clarke Quay lives next door to an equally new kid on the block – NTUC Fairprice Finest Clarke Quay, which we had wrote about last week. Compared to its other stores, this Swee Lee is most accessible – with direct access from the ground floor without traipsing over escalators at shopping centers.

Swee Lee Clarke Quay Cafe review

The Stage – showcasing our talents

There is a large open space in the middle of the store with a low stage. On the weekday afternoon when we were there, there were no events. Random slides played on the screen. The sofas and tables served as social meeting places or solitary laptop zones for those present.

Swee Lee Clarke Quay Cafe Stage

At selected times, this becomes a performance space. Possibly for invited performers or closet musicians waiting to be discovered. Open mic nights are held here (the next one is on 27 June 2024 7pm to 8.30 pm). You can refer to Swee Lee’s Instagram for details. Swee Lee offers a chance to play to an audience. An online application to perform is available here.

Cafe and Record Shop

A fair collection of records are available for sale at this Swee Lee outlet. Listening stations to try out the LPs on turntables are available.

The cafe is integrated inside the place, each zone flows seamlessly to the next.

Swee Lee Clarke Quay Cafe records

Swee Lee Clarke Quay Cafe Menu

Swee Lee Clarke Quay Cafe Menu

The Swee Lee Clarke Quay Cafe food menu is quite limited. The drink menu is longer. Craft beer and wine are also available at the bar.

Swee Lee Clarke Quay Cafe Menu

After our heavy lunch at Fairprice Finest The Grocer next door, we had no room for food. Only coffee, which tasted quite average. But the atmosphere was good with lots of human activity, even on a lazy weekday afternoon.

Swee Lee Clarke Quay Cafe coffee

Guitar Shop

 To us the highlight of every Swee Lee music store is their guitar collection. This was also the case at the new Swee Lee Clarke Quay store. Gleaming new guitars from brands such as Fender, Taylor, Martin, Heritage and Harmony were on display and available for trying.

Swee Lee Clarke Quay Guitar

Unlike the atmosphere at Swee Lee Bras Basah Complex where we see (and hear) more aspiring Eric Claptons, the folks at Clarke Quay seem like a quieter bunch. Either strumming away politely in the far end of the store or plugged into headphone stations. There is also a larger range of instruments at Bras Basah, such as drums, percussion and keyboards. For musical store vibes, we prefer the old school feel of Bras Basah.

Swee Lee Clarke Quay Cafe Music

Of course, wires, strings, pedals and other guitar paraphernalia are also available at CC.

Guitar Cellar

Swee Lee Clarke Quay Guitar Cellar

The more precious guitars are locked up in an enclosed space – the Guitar Cellar. Here in the isolated space, guitar demos can be done at proper volumes without disturbing the cafe crowd outside.

It has been a while since I last visited Clarke Quay. The place seemed to have been spruced up. The buildings look fresher and the gigantic glass ‘umbrellas’ appear larger or is it my imagination. With the addition of Swee Lee Clarke Quay Cafe the venue has become more interesting.


Swee Lee Clarke Quay Cafe
Blk 3B River Valley Rd, #01-06 Clarke Quay, Singapore 179021

Tel: +65 3163 5618

Opening Hours:
Cafe & Bar: 10am – 10pm Daily
Retail: 12pm – 9pm Daily
Public holiday hours may vary

MRT: Clarke Quay (NE5); Fort Canning (DT20)


How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Discover more from The Ordinary Patrons

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Leave a comment. It will mean a great deal to us.