Zouk looks set for Clarke Quay move

NIGHTCLUB Zouk, faced with a possible year-end shutdown, appears on track to finding a new home in Clarke Quay.

It confirmed with The Straits Times yesterday that it is in talks over a relocation to the riverside entertainment hub.

Speculation has been rife that the iconic club would move there after entertainment firm Lifebrandz ceased its operations at its five nightspots at Clarke Quay earlier this year.

Still, a Zouk spokesman said no deal has been inked yet.

The home-grown club has until the end of this month to satisfy the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) that it has found a new site for the club.

If it can do this, the URA will extend its lease at its current Jiak Kim Street premises to 2017. Otherwise, the club will have to shut by the end of this year when its lease expires.

The authorities have extended Zouk's lease several times since it first expired in June 2012.

They have insisted the club will eventually have to leave its current premises as it is incompatible with the Robertson Quay area, which is likely to see more housing under the URA's Master Plan. Zouk was given the June deadline by the URA last August.

Zouk founder Lincoln Cheng began looking for a new site for Zouk as early as 2010, but failed to find a venue large enough to house a weekly crowd of more than 10,000 revellers from Singapore, Asia and elsewhere.

Mr Cheng has said previously that Zouk needs to be housed in a standalone building in town.

In March this year, Lifebrandz shut down its five nightspots in Clarke Quay, offering hope to Zouk when it surrendered its 57,000 sq ft space at The Cannery.

The space was previously occupied by Zirca and superclub Ministry of Sound.

When told of the news, Zouk's former marketing manager, now chief operating officer of The Lo & Behold Group, Mr Andrew Ing, said one of the factors that has contributed to Zouk's success is its current standalone location in Jiak Kim Street.

"It created its own magic," said Mr Ing. "I am not sure how Clarke Quay matches the philosophy when Zouk has to share the space with others... I am not saying that it won't be successful but Jiak Kim Street is where I could connect with the brand."



This article was first published on June 11, 2015.
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