Versatile spaces for food, work and play

Versatile spaces for food, work and play

SINGAPORE - Several new multi-purpose spaces have popped up around Singapore, providing channels for a range of usage from events to shared workspaces.

Room at the top

Top Deck

223A Upper Thomson Road

Habitat Coffee - the coffee joint along Upper Thomson Road - has been wowing fans since 2011 with its specially blended joe and hip cool vibe. No wonder then that the cafe often gets requests from customers who want to hold events there.

"We could not accommodate those requests as we did not want to close off the cafe to the walk-in crowd," says Benjamin Ng, a partner at Habitat.

Enter Top Deck, an event space located above Habitat.

"We have been thinking about expanding the business, but know that we didn't want to open another cafe, especially when there are so many cafes around," says Mr Ng. When the space above Habitat became available, they decided to turn it into an event space.

Since it opened last month, Top Deck has hosted private events such as birthday parties and gatherings, as well as corporate events, including a team building event and a Christmas gathering. It recently hosted a charity fund-raising concert.

Top Deck will soon host its first wedding solemnization. "The possibilities to using this space is endless," says Mr Ng.

Next month, Oh Happy Fry, an online children's accessories store, will be holding a 10-day pop-up shop at Top Deck. "This stretch of Upper Thomson is very F&B-centric, with very few retail options," says Mr Ng.

"One of our objectives at Top Deck is to work with retailers to occupy our space and offer variety to the area."

Top Deck is specifically designed to be an event space. The space is squarish, is largely column free, and has a high ceiling.

It is fitted out with modular and stackable furniture so that the layout can be easily configured or should a client want a totally empty space, that can be arranged too.

There is also a private enclosed area. A line of windows at the front, means the space is naturally lit, while still giving it a chic feel.

Unlike Habitat Coffee which serves food, Top Deck has no kitchen, hence there is no food on the menu. Instead, Top Deck works with external caterers to meet food requirements when the space is hired.

"The kitchen at Habitat Coffee is not large enough to cater to two outlets, hence we work with caterers," says Mr Ng.

It costs S$600 to rent the space at Top Deck for four hours, with an additional S$150 per subsequent hour. Catering starts from S$17.50 per person, with a minimum of 30 orders.

The space can seat 55 persons or it can make room for 70 people standing.

When not used as an event space, Top Deck doubles as a cafe. The same blend of coffee as at Habitat is served from its Synesso Hydra espresso machine. Each cup goes for $5.

"Even though we serve coffee, Top Deck is not an extension of Habitat," says Mr Ng.

He points out that most small to medium-sized event venues are restaurants or cafes that double as event space.

"Top Deck is firstly an event space. It doubling as a cafe is an extra service, a chance for customers to enjoy the space and sample the coffee we offer when booked for events," he says.

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