SINGAPORE – Former craft beer bar Good Luck came up with a whole new food concept two weeks ago, after authorities said its previous concept was too “bar-like”.
Formerly known as Good Luck Beerhouse, the five-year-old place in Haji Lane now sells handmade noodles, as well as items it’s always had on its menu, such as dim sum and burgers.
“From the start we have been known as a place for local craft beer, so this is what we market exclusively, with the aim of promoting their consumption… but the authorities told us that“ this is promotion of beer, your place is allowed for restaurant use, but it looks like a bar to us, so it doesn’t fit into our guidelines, ”said director Kevin Ngan.
“It doesn’t help that we had to pivot and change our concept to survive, especially since business has dropped dramatically since catering capacity limits were reduced to two people, and the street is gone. as lively as before, “he added.
He spoke to The Straits Times before dining restrictions were eased on Saturday (November 20), allowing vaccinated groups of up to five people who do not need to be from the same household to dine at restaurants from Monday.
Good Luck is one of several heritage neighborhood sites that have had to modify their operations to meet Covid-19 guidelines. Others include Sago House in Chinatown and Jekyll & Hyde in Tanjong Pagar.
Heart of Darkness Craft Beer Bar and Restaurant at Keong Saik Road has also been told that it can no longer promote alcohol on its social media platforms.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) clarified that catering premises approved for restaurant use must primarily serve food, and any sale of alcohol must be incidental to the consumption of food.
“In assessing whether premises approved for restaurant use have materially changed to become a bar or pub, we consider a range of factors such as their food offerings, the adequacy of spaces for food preparation and consumption, and whether the premises are marketed as or give the impression that they are primarily a place of alcohol consumption, ”said a spokesperson for URA.
The authority has also banned the opening of new bars, pubs, nightclubs and karaoke lounges in historic districts such as Chinatown, Little India and Kampong Glam since 2009, “as the continued growth of these uses could potentially… erode character. of these areas “.
“Premises approved before 2009 for bar, pub, nightclub and karaoke lounge uses are allowed to continue operating if they have valid licenses, subject to future reviews based on the broader planning intent of the area and the impact of these uses on the environment, ”added the spokesperson.
Mr. Ngan takes the changes in his stride. “We see this as an opportunity and we are making sure that the new concept is focused on food,” he said, adding that Good Luck Beerhouse as a brand will be withdrawn.
But even though he noted that “we cannot challenge the guidelines,” he said “it worries me for the industry.”