Pokémon GO is launched in Singapore. You are likely to spot walking ‘zombies’ around, heads glued to the handphone screens, stopping all of the sudden, swiping fingers upwards, and smiling to themselves.
”Siao ah?!” Some may remark. All I do want to say is… BE CAREFUL when crossing the roads. Your life is worth more than a Pokémon.
Otherwise, it can very well be a game-app that can finally get people outdoor (neighbours gathering at the playground and laughing), burn more calories as you walk between PokéStops.
For parents playing Pokémon GO with your children, I find this an opportunity to educate them about history, art pieces and landmarks around the neighbourhood, that you may not have noticed yourself.
PokéStops and gyms are adapted in a game called Ingress, which considers the historical, educational, artistic or architectural value of portals.
So what are PokéStops?
PokéStops are places indicated on the map with blue icons that allow you to collect items such as Pokéballs (to capture more Pokemon) and eggs.
When you reach near a PokéStop, click on the icon, swipe the photo disc, and collect the items generated. Tip: The icon’s colour will change to purple, and you can always collect items AGAIN when it refreshes back to blue after 5 minutes.
SO… that means if a café is a PokéStop, you can literally just stay there and keep collecting Pokéballs.
Here are 20 Cafes & Restaurants In Singapore with Pokéstops! (More to be added soon. Let me know if you spot any in the comments column.)
Killiney Kopitiam – 67 Killiney Road
The original Killiney Koptiam. Have your kopi c, kaya toast, mee siam and Pokéballs!
KPO Café Bar – 1 Killiney Road
Post office in the day, café-bar in the evening (with many expensive cars parked outside). Popular for Singaporean dishes and Western bar bites.
Whole Earth – 76 Peck Seah St
Singapore’s first and only Thai-Peranakan Vegetarian restaurant. Do you know that the restaurant is also listed in the Singapore Michelin Bib Gourmand Guide 2016 ? Michelin meets Pokémon!
Fish & Co – 9 Penang Road
The iconic glass house at Park Mall. Another PokéStop is not far away, found at LOVE at Lanson Place.
Yellow Cup Coffee – 20 Havelock Road, Central Square
Nordic style coffee meets Pokéballs.
Boomarang – 60 Robertson Quay, The Quayside
BoomArang, not BoomErang, serving Australian inspired food by the Singapore River.
Toby’s Estate – 8 Rodyk Street
Pokémon Go even includes “Awesome food and free wifi”.
Arteastiq – 33A Orchard Road Mandarin Gallery
The café is spelt as “Artistic” in the app. Actually, nobody really remembers how to spell it.
Five & Dime – 297 River Valley Road
No more Five & Dime, but now known as Fat Lulu’s.
Spize – 409 River Valley Road
Halal eatery Spize which already has a sizable supper crowd, and see longer late-night queues.
Lighthouse Bistro – 75 Jellicoe Road
A building I always see, but didn’t pay much attention to. Lighthouse Bistro, Wavelink Maritime Institute, and Wavelink Thrift is jointly founded by the Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union (SMOU) and the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).
No Signboard Seafood – No 414 Geylang
May find both Crabby (chilli crabs) and Krabby (Pokémon) here.
New Ubin Seafood – Block 27 Sin Ming Road, Sin Ming Industrial Estate Sector A
Pokemon GO app says “Sin Ming Crab”, but think they mean New Ubin Seafood? Best. This is one of my favourite Zhi Char place in Singapore. (Thanks Joline for the tip-off.)
Min Jiang at One-North
Colonial style house, lush greenery backdrop, great dim sum.
The Rabbit Hole – 39C Harding Road
For gin, tonic and now ‘eggs’ in this rabbit hole.
Fat Boys Burger Bar – Upper Thomson Road
Build your own burgers, while getting more EXP. (Thanks Evie for the tip-off.)
The Roti Prata House – 246M Upper Thomson Road
One flips the dough to make prata, the other swipes the phone to catch Rattata.
Shin Minori Japanese Restaurant – UE Square
All you can eat value-for-money Japanese Buffet. It sounds cliché, but… gotta eat ‘em all!
The Big Bird Chicken Rice – 271 Bukit Timah Road #01-07
Their Facebook status reads, “Who need a Michelin Star when you are a PokeStop!” WHAT?!
Zion Road Hawker Centre – 70 Zion Road
Not a restaurant per se, but I thought I should include this in should you want to catch Pokémon after some No. 18 Char Kway Teow, and Adam Road Prawn Noodles.
Maxwell Road Food Centre – 1 Kadayanallur St
Maxwell Food Centre is famous for stalls like Tian Tian Chicken Rice, Zhen Zhen Porridge and Jin Hua Sliced Fish Bee Hoon.
So how can local businesses capitalise on Pokémon GO?
Taking a cue from ION Orchard, they can release “Lures” Modules to attract a large number of Pokémon, and thus people to catch at a said location near a PokéStop.
Another way for cafes and restaurants to promote, is to inform over Facebook and Instagram that they are a PokéStop or near one, and offer Pokemon fans discounts when they upload a photo with both a Pokemon and food on their social media accounts.
Businesses should remember that it is not just Pokémon you want to LURE, and Pokémon GO is definitely not just a game.