The Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde and URA
What constitutes a restaurant and how different is it from a bar? Jekyll and Hyde had to contend with this recently when they were asked to cease operations for a short time period by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). This was due to the URA’s contention that the restaurant, which originally operated as a bar before pivoting fully to a full sit-down establishment with a designated chef and a menu, were considered a restaurant bar/bar and the current URA policy is not to support any restaurant bar or bar use in the Chinatown area, including the Neil Road and the Keong Siak area.
“We were up for renewal for the extension for the unit's change of use, and had been communicating with the URA on this matter since July,” explains Mr Ee Chien Chua in a statement that was released online as well as via email. “In the past year and a half, Jekyll & Hyde has pivoted fully to a restaurant, with an extensive menu of Singapore soul food, with crowd favourite dishes like our Sakura Beef Char Kuay Teow, Chili Crab Nachos and more. In addition to that, we launched two virtual brands, Curry Fried Chicken, and The Ugly Dumpling/Fried Rice.”
The restaurant, along with their sister brands, were finally granted approval to reopen following a week of closure and with the help of our friends, family, an MP, Mr Alvin Tan, and a representative of the URA, and their landlord, Mr Lin. However, this posed a conumdrum for the brand.
"In that week, we were unable to operate in any way, which decimated our cash flow in an already very tough operating environment," Mr Chua continues. The team and I were very concerned about their rice bowls - we have 14 employees, 13 of which are Singaporean or PR, along with a husband-wife pair with 3 children."
Thankfully, with the restaurant allowed to reopen again, the team is planning to hit the ground running with plans for upcoming events and promotions like a Thanksgiving/Christmas food menu for the holiday season. They will also be launching special Christmas gift sets for the upcoming events.
"We would really love and appreciate your support to get us back on our feet," Mr Chua concludes. "I'll be there the next couple nights, and would love to see you in person and catch up. Or, you can order delivery to your home from any of our brands!"
To reserve a table at Jekyll & Hyde, please go here
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