Over 27,000 sign Save Zouk appeal to have lease extended

The iconic nightspot, opened in 1991, still attracts large crowds - more than 10,000 revellers gather at its Jiak Kim Street premises every week. Nearby residents have complained about noise and litter.
The iconic nightspot, opened in 1991, still attracts large crowds - more than 10,000 revellers gather at its Jiak Kim Street premises every week. Nearby residents have complained about noise and litter.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Club has yet to find alternative site although lease was extended 3 times

More than 27,000 people have signed popular dance club Zouk's online appeal to have its lease extended, after news emerged that it might close if it cannot continue renting its Jiak Kim Street premises.

Well-known DJs such as Afrojack from the Netherlands and Gilles Peterson from Britain have also clicked on the Save Zouk website, launched by the club on June 20, voting to save the globally renowned nightlife destination.

"We hope the unity of voices will reinforce our strong interest in extending the lease for Jiak Kim Street until Zouk secures a new home," said business development and public relations head Sofie Chandra.

The campaign has also been reported by overseas media such as Hong Kong daily South China Morning Post and Australian dance music website inthemix.

Despite the online support and media attention, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) reiterated its stance in a reply to The Straits Times on Thursday.

"Zouk's lease expired in June 2012. Agencies have extended the lease thrice on their appeal that they needed time to look for an alternative site," said a URA spokesman, noting "the nuisance" posed by the large number of young people gathering around the club.

Zouk needs a new site and cannot count on "indefinite extensions", she added.

Club founder Lincoln Cheng, 67, said earlier that he had been looking for a new site but without success.

He had considered locations such as the Singapore Flyer.

Opened in 1991, Zouk has been ranked No. 7 in the world by influential British magazine DJ Mag.

Every week, the club draws more than 10,000 people, including both locals and tourists.

Even so, not everyone is in favour of Zouk staying open.

"Good riddance! One less spot for kids... that place was overly dull anyway," said Mr Jason Tan on The Straits Times website.

Another netizen, Mr Nathan Thai, wrote: "Long overdue. Fingers crossed for this place to be closed down."

However, bar manager Roy Chao, 29, who has frequented Zouk for over a decade, feels it would be a big loss if the club shuts down at the end of the year.

"I will be very sad. I do not think we have another place in Singapore with the same feel."

cherylw@sph.com.sg

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