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Gettin' groovy is their game

THE Butter Factory co-owners Bobby Luo and Ritz Lim have had a lifelong romance with clubbing. -myp

Tue, May 10, 2011
my paper

BY Jill Alphonso

THE Butter Factory co-owners Bobby Luo and Ritz Lim have had a lifelong romance with clubbing.

The two - aged 40 and 49, respectively - began daydreaming about clubbing in their tweens and teens, they say, inspired by the hedonistic disco era.

Today, the pair are legends on the club scene. They are known for their crazy homemade costumes that they whip up for nights out, as well as for their insistence that life should be fun-filled - no exceptions.

The two have worked hard to keep their vision of club land alive with The Butter Factory, which opened in Robertson Quay in 2006 and quickly gained a reputation as the place to be.

The club, famed for its underground street art, moved to a larger space at One Fullterton in 2009, and celebrated its fifth anniversary last Saturday night with a bash of monster proportions.

A new venture, a bar outlet named Sauce, will be opened at the Esplanade soon, revealed Mr Lim.

The joint will serve up cocktails, as well as burgers, grilled meats and hot dogs, and will also have a takeaway kiosk.

Indeed, things just continue to get bigger and better for Mr Lim and Mr Luo.

Through it all, they have never forgotten to cut loose and have a good time.

Here, the two - who replied to my paper's e-mail queries (no time for a real cocktail together, darlings! The two were way too busy with Butter's anniversary preparations) at 4am last Thursday - address criticism that Butter has lost its vibe since moving to its One Fullerton space, and tell us what it's like to be 24-hour party people.

Congrats on the fifth anniversary! Did you guys think Butter would make it this far?

Bobby: Absolutely. We're in it for the long haul, b**ches. Club for life!

Is there anything in the past five years that you wish you had done better?

Bobby: No... If there was, I'd need a new liver by now.

Ritz: Spending life in club land is all about creating fabulous illusions, escapism, getting lost inside the music, the atmosphere, catching up with friends and making new ones. I think we've managed to achieve all that.

Any future plans for the club, like another move?

Bobby: Not at the moment. Fullerton is the bomb. The waterfront. The skyline. The views. What more could we ask for?

What do you say to criticism that, after moving, Butter has lost its vibe?

Bobby: Those who criticise sound like has-beens who have forgotten how to have fun, and have got old and boring. Period.

Still, are there things you miss about the old Butter?

Bobby: I miss the old Art Bar.

Ritz: I miss the free street parking!

You guys are known for your fun, funky costumes. What were your favourite outfits?

Bobby: They are all faves, darling! Dressing up gives me a natural high. I need a lot of colour and quirkiness in my life.

Ritz: We are compiling a lookbook of pictures that we have taken over the years. So, are there any art-book publishers out there listening?

Ritz, you're a hairdresser. What is an absolute hair sin you see all too often at the club?

Ritz: Smelly hair that gets flung in your face.

Last December, the club hosted an HIV-awareness party. What is your stand on sex after clubbing? How would you advise your young club-goers to proceed?

Bobby: I would remind them that there is still no cure for HIV or Aids. While HIV is no longer a death sentence, the harsh reality is that the disease will still slowly kill those afflicted.

Ritz: All we'd like you to do is stop, think and ask yourselves this: Is a few minutes of shiok-ness really worth a lifetime of physical and mental deterioration? Use a condom.

Where is a must-go-to place after clubbing? Supper anywhere?

Bobby: My bed.

Ritz: Agreed, my bed is the best after partying!

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