Lifestyle

Banking on drinking buddies
Melissa Kok 1247 words 27 October 2013 Straits Times STIMES English (c) 2013 Singapore Press Holdings Limited

The four partners behind the $8-million deal to take over 28 shophouses in Circular Road outline their one-ofa-kind tenancy plan They are young, hungry and fast becoming big movers and shakers in Singapore's nightlife scene. Just over a year after setting up lifestyle and entertainment group Limited Edition Concepts, the four partners are embarking on a massive expansion plan. The group, comprising Singaporean Godwin Pereira, 39; Irish national Ross Glasscoe, 33; Indian national Hemant Tucker, 38; and Frenchman Xavier Meit, 37, announced last week an $8-million deal to take over 28 shophouse units in Circular Road. The deal, which effectively makes them the anchor tenant in the area, with 28,000 sq ft of space, will allow them to introduce new food and beverage, and nightlife concepts over the next few months. The master lease will last between six and 10 years for the units. It is a highly ambitious plan for the company, which was formed last April and currently runs two nightspots in town - Club Kyo in Cecil Street and The Vault in South Bridge Road. But both Mr Pereira and Mr Glasscoe, the creative drivers of the group who handle the day-to-day operations and marketing on a full-time basis, tell SundayLife! that they are taking a "realistic approach" to their business. Mr Pereira says that they are not going to operate all 28 shophouse units. He says: "It's not for us to grow and grow and grow. There's a proportion of risk. We want to build up to a certain level but we also want to make it a community thing, where we bring in good operators who have something a little bit different to offer, to add great value. The tenant mix there will be one-of-a-kind." The two men are no strangers to the nightlife industry, with more than 30 years of experience in music and operations between them. Mr Pereira cut his teeth in the industry with Europa Holdings, Singapore's biggest club and pub chain owner in the 1990s. He was DJ-ing and assisting with the entertainment programme at several of the company's outlets from 1993 to 1999, before moving to nightspot Centro at One Fullerton, where he worked in a similar capacity from 2001 to 2004. He was also entertainment director for nightlife operator LifeBrandz from 2005 to 2008, which ran the former nightclub Ministry of Sound at Clarke Quay, and at rooftop restaurant club Ku De Ta at Marina Bay Sands from 2010 to last year. Mr Glasscoe, a Singapore permanent resident who has lived here for eight years, has been operations director for pub chain Gaelic Inns, boutique hotel The Club Hotel and the public- listed Harry's Holdings

both Singapore permanent residents who have been living here for about seven years. It will take up four shophouse units . "We never once imagined to have this room packed with people having fun." Mr Tucker adds: "We each have different professional backgrounds but we complement one another.500sq ft. handle the business development while holding full-time jobs. as well as their own savings. They planned the venture over 10 months. The crowd swells to between 1." Over the years. We thought 'okay. and that's our edge.since arriving here. Limited Edition Concepts' other camera-shy partners Tucker and Meit.300 and 1. More importantly. a hip club lounge. while everyone else was in Marina Bay Sands and Clarke Quay". Says Mr Glasscoe: "All four of us like to go out and enjoy the nightlife. who is a bachelor. they launched upscale bistro.800 on Fridays and Saturdays. Mr Tucker is a managing director for wealth management in a bank and Mr Meit is a strategic analyst for a bank. We try to socialise at least once a week.. two weeks after it started operating.the vision is to bring "bespoke personalities" and seasoned operators to one accessible place.200 on weekends." says Mr Pereira of The Vault's success. The bistro lounge was packing in a crowd of 1. They met one another about six years ago through mutual friends. In March this year. we agree on the fundamentals of how to build a multi-dimensional company that comprises a good balance of creativity and corporate structures. at bars or clubs they were either working in or drinking at. he points out that they chose to "isolate ourselves but still be in a cool area. Three months later. "We were really blessed with this project." Mr Glasscoe and Mr Pereira say Club Kyo is also doing well. "There will be some cool brand names from overseas." But he adds that The Vault is an example of the group's "go-against-the-grain approach to doing things". All are married with children. While the group says it is too early to give information about their upcoming projects. except Mr Tucker. caters to working professionals. Kyo. we'll start a space with something small downstairs and have a lounge upstairs for a few friends to come have a drink and a giggle and hopefully. with about 600 people patronising it on Wednesday nights.lounge The Vault on the former premises of OCBC bank in Chinatown. The Vault will move from its current location to Circular Road early next month.. expatriates and creative types in the heart of the Central Business District. The $8 million that the partners are pumping into their expansion in Circular Road comes from the profits of The Vault and Club Kyo. The remaining units will be sublet to other businesses . they talked about going into business together. Finally in April last year. The company broke even after just six months of opening The Vault. people would come'. Mr Pereira jokes that the quartet's partnership started as "drinking friendships". underdogs that are just going to be huge. "We focus on the people and the customers. We share a common goal. Mr Pereira says it hopes to launch two more food and beverage concepts in Circular Road by next March. depending on which guest DJ is spinning that night. For instance. they opened basement nightclub Club Kyo in Cecil Street.a total of 5. and one . they came up with an initial investment of $1 million from their own pockets and Limited Edition Concepts was formed. and that provides stability and direction.

outside their bistro-lounge The Vault in South Bridge Road. That's cool. right?" His partner quips in reply: "Then you and I can put our faces there. Singapore's population and size work for it. are part of a group of four who plan to shake up Singapore's nightlife scene. which also builds valuable experience for a company looking to be a long-term player.com. in the sense that it stimulates creativity and allows for fast changes. An Indian guy and an Irish guy." Mr Glasscoe stresses that creativity has been "the foundation of our company and the core value among four of us". says Mr Pereira. Mr Meit adds: "There will always be space for creative concepts with quality offerings.concept with a celebrity involved". it'll work. Inc." melk@sph. Adds Mr Pereira with a laugh: "But I still think we should do an Irish pub selling curry. -.sg Singaporean Godwin Pereira (right) and Irishman Ross Glasscoe (left).PHOTO: EDWARD TEO FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES Singapore Press Holdings Limited Document STIMES0020131026e9ar0001t © 2013 Factiva. All rights reserved. .

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