The Coup: New vibey hidden bar, owned by ex-Shopback bigwig who quit the rat race to start a bar empire

By Evan Mua May 3, 2024
The Coup: New vibey hidden bar, owned by ex-Shopback bigwig who quit the rat race to start a bar empire
Despite flourishing in the corporate world, he left for his passion in F&B! Photos: Abdul Rahim Anwar/HungryGoWhere
  • The Coup is a unique and vibey bar hidden in a basement space at Ann Siang Hill
  • The bar focuses on more unique flavours, including ferments and natural wines
  • It’s co-owned by Jeremy Lim, a former corporate bigwig who left corporate life to focus on F&B full-time
  • He also owns the popular Moonstone and Almost Famous, with two more new concepts in the pipeline

What do vibey bars, lots of booze, business development, and marketing strategy have in common? 

Those are all things that define Jeremy Lim, 35, the former head of marketing at Shopback who left his corporate job to devote all his time to the bar industry. Today, he owns three of Singapore’s buzziest bars.

The successful bar-owner has had a hand in opening a trio of carousing hotspots: Moonstone, Almost Famous and, more recently, The Coup.

the coup
The way in is through a rather sus-looking flight of stairs. Photo: Abdul Rahim Anwar/HungryGoWhere

CBD dwellers would be familiar with Moonstone as a buzzy watering hole at Telok Ayer, while craft beer lovers would have definitely visited the picturesque Almost Famous at CHIJMES.

Joining the fray is The Coup, a one-of-a-kind hidden bar sequestered in an Ann Siang Hill basement focusing on craft spirits, ferments and just having one hell of a time.

Truly off the beaten track, you won’t find this bar unless you veer off the packed roads to the quieter Ann Siang Hill Park, where a seedy flight of stairs lay in wait.

the coup
But it’s a cosy vibe inside. Photo: Abdul Rahim Anwar/HungryGoWhere

But after you fumbled your way down through the dark, you will be greeted by a cosiest little space with fridges stocked full of craft beers and wines.

It’s a place that’s perfectly in line with the ethos that binds all of Jeremy’s establishments: “Never proper, always casual.”

Started from 21 Moonstone Lane

jeremy lim moonstone
Jeremy is in the business of encouraging people to have fun. Photo: Abdul Rahim Anwar/HungryGoWhere

While Jeremy is fully focused on making sure The Coup and his other F&B ventures are running smoothly nowadays, it wasn’t always that way. 

He had juggled both marketing responsibilities and bar operations, since the opening of Moonstone in 2018.

It was all by happenstance, says Jeremy. “We had found an auntie looking to retire and let go of her rooftop canteen in an industrial building at 21 Moonstone Lane. We thought it was a good place.”

That’s how everything started: With two years of wild parties, noise complaints and amassing a cult following, before an eventual shift to its current Telok Ayer space. 

moonstone bar
Moonstone is where it all started. Photo: Abdul Rahim Anwar/HungryGoWhere

He would then go on to start Almost Famous and The Coup with his business partners, before he decided that February this year was prime time to leave his corporate life behind.

With his full attention now on the bar scene, Jeremy has big plans. Together with his business partners, he has collated all the concepts into one group, 21 Moonstone — a name that throws back to their roots.

There are already new concepts on the horizon: First, an ice cream and natural wine concept named Middle Child and also a pizza concept called Bad Habits. These are still in the works and are slated to be launched soon.

Is this the start of a bar empire?

moonstone bar
All the concepts are fun and never proper, always casual. Photo: Abdul Rahim Anwar/HungryGoWhere

When asked about the impetus for this change, Jeremy says: “As cringy as it sounds, I left because of passion.” 

“I didn’t have the courage to do it five or six years ago, but we thought it would be beneficial for me to bring some of my corporate expertise to managing our concepts.”

The passion is reflected in the concepts of all their bars, which generally revolve around craft beverages, be it craft beers at Almost Famous or natural wines at The Coup. 

All of them have their own speciality but the bottom line is: Every spot must feel intimate and unpretentious, as though guests are being welcomed into a friend’s home.

the coup
Vinny and Jeremy come up with the best business ideas drunk. Photo: Abdul Rahim Anwar/HungryGoWhere

So how do the ideas come flowing for all these new and unique concepts?

Jeremy chuckles and recounts how he and his business partner 31-year-old Vincent Ho (“Vinny”) came up with the idea of their soon-to-be-launched ice cream concept. “We were having drinks one day and Vinny came up with the idea of doing ice creams with drinks. Right after, we saw the perfect space as we were crossing the road and we put in a proposal the next day.”

“Most of our ideas seemingly start over drunken conversations,” he quips.

The Coup taste test

the coup
You can find some very interesting alcoholic options at The Coup. Photo: Abdul Rahim Anwar/HungryGoWhere

The latest in the stable of bars under the 21 Moonstone umbrella, The Coup is started in collaboration with Keola Ho, best known as the founder of cult craft-beer darling Bunker Bunker.

But The Coup is not just a fun spot focused on beers — the Ann Siang Hill bar also places a spotlight on fermentation, natural wines and some more daring and unique alcoholic options.

the coup
Dedicated to fermentation, the bar gives off low-key lab vibes. Photo: Abdul Rahim Anwar/HungryGoWhere

That translates to vats upon vats of stuff undergoing fermentation and also an eclectic range of tipples, including artisan sake sourced from Vietnam and unique craft beers on tap such as a dragon fruit gose sour (S$17) and passion fruit wheat ale (S$17)

The bar’s emphasis on fermentation also adds some unique flavours to the menu. For example, the bar takes pride in its “cheong”, a Korean-style extract or syrup made from macerating and fermenting fruits.

the coup
Fresh oysters with a twist. Photo: Abdul Rahim Anwar/HungryGoWhere

The cheong is used in the shochu cheong ball (S$16) and imparts a distinct acidity and fruity twang to make the highball just as complex as it is refreshing.

Another example is the unique condiment the bar pairs with its Japanese oysters (S$5 a piece). 

Forgoing your usual tabasco sauce, the bar uses a housemade lacto-fermented tomato drizzle that adds addictive vibrance and salinity to the plump oysters.

the coup
A lot of people hate pickles but this might change your mind. Photo: Abdul Rahim Anwar/HungryGoWhere

Another form of fermentation plays a big part in The Coup’s menu: Pickles. In particular, the juicy smoked chorizo glizzy (S$12) is served with an array of housemade pickles for everyone to try.

It might not be the most photogenic but the pickles are all wonderfully piquant and go well with the sausage — the fermented mushrooms and fermented egg were especially interesting.

the coup
Never go wrong with hard-hittin’ beef ribs. Photo: Abdul Rahim Anwar/HungryGoWhere

If you’re not as adventurous, the signature slow-cooked beef short rib (S$22) is a great meat option to share with the table, especially to pair with alcohol. 

Tender and rich by itself, the beef hits even harder when you pair it with the pommery mustard at the side for a punchy but aromatic dose of spice. 

If you ask us, this is probably a great place to visit if you’re interested in more unique flavours and craft spirits. 

But it’s also just as good as a hangout spot — the basement hidden bar setting is a cool vibe all by itself.

For more ideas on what to eat, read our stories on where to go for fresh and authentic Greek food or the most popular new pizza joint in town, a world-famous Naples classic.

Do explore the new GrabFood Dine-in service for awesome deals.

You can also book a ride to The Coup at Ann Siang Hill!

The Coup

7 Ann Siang Hill
Nearest MRT: Maxwell
Open: Wednesday to Saturday (6pm to 12am)

7 Ann Siang Hill
Nearest MRT: Maxwell
Open: Wednesday to Saturday (6pm to 12am)

Evan Mua


Evan started off writing about food on Instagram, before joining outlets such as Buro and Confirm Good to pursue his passion. His best work usually comes after his first whisky shot in the morning.

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