Two F&B outlets ordered to close over alcohol offence
Bar owners appeal to customers to be more considerate and observe 10.30pm deadline to stop drinking
Two food and beverage outlets in Amoy Street in Chinatown have been fined and suspended after customers were found drinking alcohol after 10.30pm.
Chico Loco and Moonstone are now shut indefinitely until further notice due to the lapse.
Since the start of phase two on June 19, establishments are allowed to serve alcohol to dine-in patrons, but all drinking must stop at 10.30pm sharp.
In a statement yesterday, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said the outlets were ordered to cease operations on Saturday and were each fined $1,000.
STB added it has issued 19 fines of $300 each to several people since the start of phase two and fined four businesses.
Apart from Moonstone and Chico Loco, Furama Riverfront Hotel was fined $1,000 for failing to record contact details of visitors, and Chennai Trading was fined $2,000 for lack of crowd management.
STB said most establishments have adhered to safe management measures, and it urged the public to do their part.
"While we encourage everyone to support our local businesses and enjoy what they have to offer, we urge customers to do so in a socially responsible way and adhere to all prevailing safe management measures," STB said. "This will help ensure the safety and health of everyone, while allowing businesses to stay open."
NO 'GRACE PERIOD'
In a statement on its Facebook page yesterday, Moonstone said it was ordered to close indefinitely at 10.45pm on Saturday, and urged other operators to take the measures seriously.
"There is no 'grace period' allowed for customers to finish up their last drinks on hand even if the order was served before 10.30pm," it said.
"This is a hard stop, and no reasons are accepted by the enforcement officers. This was our mistake today."
Moonstone said last orders on Saturday night were taken at 10pm, and the last drink was served at 10.10pm.
It began issuing all 22 open bills while clearing the tables and advising customers to finish up and leave. But the process took about 20 minutes, resulting in the lapse.
"While we've tried our best to operate within the safety measures, this outcome is unfortunate and a much regrettable one," it said.
"An extra 15 minutes might not be a long time to you as a customer, but it's this same amount of time that will put the jobs and livelihoods of food and beverage workers on the line."
Chico Loco posted on Facebook yesterday that it is writing to STB to find out when it can reopen.
The New Paper understands the authorities are still assessing the length of the suspensions.
As of 8pm yesterday, Moonstone's post had more than 1,500 shares, among them other F&B outlets like Bistro Neigh at Pasir Ris Park, which urged customers to be considerate.
When TNP contacted Bistro Neigh owner Michelle Wong, 37, said enforcement officers had been checking her outlet daily.
"One day, different officers came to check on us four times," she said.
"I had to tell customers every night to finish up and go. Some get offended after a few drinks, but I really have no choice."
She urged customers to listen to her staff and consider their livelihoods.
"Some customers think we are making things difficult for them, and that we should serve them alcohol past 10.30pm.
"But I don't want to earn from an extra $20 jug just to get a $1,000 fine. They don't understand that if we get fined and suspended, we may end up having to shut for good," she said.
On June 20, the Urban Redevelopment Authority ordered British Indian Curry Hut, a restaurant in Holland Village, to shut over crowd management problems.
It will be allowed to reopen for dine-in only today, provided it has shown it is able to implement safe management measures for its customers.