Zouk out?

Zouk out?
News of Zouk's possible closure broke after it was reported on Wednesday that its founder Lincoln Cheng would close the 23-year-old club if it does not secure the three-year lease extension on its Jiak Kim Street premises that he is seeking.

That's the question on the lips of local and even foreign nightlife pundits.

Will Zouk stay or go?

That's what revellers want to know.

British music magazine DJ Mag's website djmag.com has urged its readers worldwide to participate in a social media campaign and tweet #SaveZouk to prevent the pioneering Singapore nightspot from closing.

Zouk has also created the website www.save-zouk.com to appeal to its supporters online.

Miss Sofie Chandra, Zouk's head of business development and public relations, told The New Paper: "We are grateful for the support. We are very heartened to know that so many people both locally and globally are so supportive of Zouk."

News of Zouk's possible closure broke after it was reported on Wednesday that its founder Lincoln Cheng (left) would close the 23-year-old club if it does not secure the three-year lease extension on its Jiak Kim Street premises that he is seeking.

But an Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) spokesman reiterated that Zouk has to find a new venue because its lease, which expired in June 2012, has already been extended thrice.

"Over time, the surrounding area has become an established residential precinct. As such, the use of the site by Zouk has become incompatible with the residential nature of the area," she said.

Industry insiders and Zouk supporters told TNP why Zouk is special.

CULTURAL HERITAGE SITE

According to URA, the conserved warehouse site at Jiak Kim Street was zoned for "Hotel" use under the previous Master Plan.

As part of the recent review of the Master Plan, the zoning was revised to "Residential with Commercial at 1st storey" use.

Dr Liew Kai Khiun, 40, an assistant professor at Nanyang Technological University's Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, who researches popular culture, suggested the parties concerned "try giving Zouk a chance to be a socially responsible clubbing venue, and eventually, perhaps a heritage site".

He added: "For club culture in Singapore, where the turnover of clubbing venues ranges from about one to three years, a two-decade existence for Zouk... at Jiak Kim Street is considered to be quite remarkable.

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