Happy was a gay disco opened and co-owned by impresario Alan Seah and film/theatre director and actor Glen Goei in August 2004. Its official opening was on 23 September 2004. It took over when the former disco, Taboo, vacated the premises and added an adjoining unit which gave it a more sizeable dance floor space. Its address was #01-02/03/04, 21 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088444 (Tel: +65 6227 7400, Fax: +65 6227 7440).
External facade and interior decor
Happy was Singapore's first gay disco to publish an electronic newsletter which patrons could subscribe to via a mailing list, to keep abreast of all its fun and fabulous happenings. More information could be obtained by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
The disco was named "Singapore's hottest nightspot" by Wallpaper Magazine in 2005, breaking new ground by hosting international DJs, a first for a local gay club. It was also Singapore’s pioneering socially responsible gay entertainment venue, with its SWEAT parties raking in more than S$25,000 for Action for AIDS.
Bartenders concocted their signature vanilla, vodka and lime cocktails called “happysexuals”, which were gleefully sipped by celebrities and wannabes alike.
Happy's customer base was overwhelmingly gay men, although straight clubbers and women were also welcome.
Opening times and events
Thursday was Lounge Night with martini specials being served. Entry on that day was from the rear portal, the front door being locked.
Fridays were a bit more relaxed.
Saturdays were jam-packed, with snaking queues visible almost all the way to Marxell hawker centre. It was quite a sight to witness gay men queuing up to get into Happy on one side of Tanjong Pagar Road while another long line of women formed directly on the opposite side, waiting to get into the lesbian bar Moondance. Sundays were mixed.
It was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Once a month, Happy hosted its outrageous SWEAT party with featured guest DJs.
The disco was a participant in the Utopia member discount scheme.
It received glowing reviews on the Utopia website:
"Happy is very nice indeed. Since it's opening in August 2004 I've been there several times, whenever I'm in Singapore. I especially like the lounge area at the back. Got to know the owner... a wonderful guy! Check it out!" -U., March 13, 2005.
"Spacious dancing space and very stylish New York club-like decor. Attracts same crowd as Taboo. - Damien F., August 11, 2004.
The following was Fridae's review of the venue:
"This new kid on the block, still very much a minor considering it's all of five weeks old (its official opening will only be on September 23), is showing a ton of vigour and spunk. Ever since cleverly incepting itself just the week prior to Nation weekend, it's been steadily pulling in the crowds on Fridays and Saturdays - and now evidently, Sundays too. Perhaps it was the cunning move of snagging the party people during the nation's birthday week, as the positive word of mouth from then has just stirred up the vibe and kept interest afloat.
Located right smack in the gayville of Singapore, Tanjong Pagar, the club occupies the space where the old Taboo used to operate out of - but is at least twice as large as the former club since it's taken over the premises of the unit next-door. In all honesty, its name had initially drawn some flak and dubiety (I mean, talk about cheesy, why not just 'G-A-Y', right? But oops, that's been done in the UK already!), but the nightspot is certainly proving its mettle and proving its detractors wrong.
Boasting a decently sized dance floor (ok, it's no Zouk, but it's good enough for a once-upon-a-time shop house!), the place churns out a steady beat of classic and contemporary house anthems, helmed no less by Centro's former DJ Ramesh who handles turntable duties. Unlike many of the other gay locations in town, this place is surprisingly classy and contemporary, exuding in fact, a certain stylish designer chic. Perhaps it's the New York inspired decor and imported furniture that contributes to this ambience, but the general feel of a seductive lounge is definitely appealing and attractive. The Sunday-Night Boys here aren't quite from the stand-on-the-platform-and-preen school either; rather, the partygoers generally do seem more approachable and down-to-earth, and actually appear as if they're there to have a casual, good time and interact with others. And by that I mean chatting, not cruising!"
Happy closed it doors for good after a grand finale on New Year’s Eve, 2006. The event was playfully called "SLEAZE", featuring Taiwan's most famous DJ, Victor Cheng, plus an all-night mega-muscle hunk show.