Former radio personality The Flying Dutchman has flown into the world of food and beverage and opened a beachfront restaurant-bar in Bintan, Indonesia.
The 59-year-old, whose real name is Mark van Cuylenburg, partnered with singer and emcee Chris Henson, 45, to open a three-storey establishment located in Bintan's newly developed Lagoi Bay area. It is said to be the only independent Singaporean-owned F&B establishment on the island.
Named Flyboyz Beach Bar, the 836 sq m space houses a different concept on each of its three floors. The ground floor is Flyboyz, a diner serving hearty pizzas and burgers; the second floor is hoobar, a retro bar with a live band playing music from the 1970s to the 1990s; and the top floor is Cuba, a sky lounge for those who wish to dance to Cuban jazz and salsa music.
The two partners spent close to half a million dollars on the place.
Van Cuylenburg, who used to be a radio host on Gold 90.5FM, says that he and friend Henson had been looking to start a food outlet in Bintan for "quite a while", given all the development work going on there at the moment. They had also always dreamt of starting a beachfront eatery.
He says: "Apart from Bintan's strong year-on- year growth in visitor numbers, the impending completion of the Bintan Resort International Airport will bring in even more visitors from all around.
"We see a lot of opportunities and room for growth in Bintan."
Bintan is a popular holiday destination with Singaporeans as it is a 45-minute ferry ride away. A new airport situated near the jetty is being built and will be operational next year.
Henson adds that Bintan was also a good option as they found the food and beverage scene to be "overly crowded in Singapore".
He says: "We had to look somewhere else with a beautiful beachfront which is close enough to home so we could easily keep tabs on our business."
Lagoi Bay is Bintan's newest resort development area covering 1,300ha, and has malls, hotels and residential estates.
Flyboyz is located within a few minutes' walk from Plaza Lagoi Mall, a new shopping mall that officially opened on Sunday.
Nearby are several new hotels such as the luxurious The Sanchaya and the Swiss-Belhotel Lagoi Bay, which officially opened on the same day. Other hotels being built in the Lagoi Bay area include Four Points managed by Sheraton, the Ibis Style and the Novotel.
The owners of Flyboyz say that as busy as they are with their other business ventures, they hope to be present at their new restaurant as much as they can.
Van Cuylenburg owns six businesses such as entertainment and events company The Flying Dutchman Pte Ltd and wedding planning service The Wedding Entourage, while Henson has stakes in media training consultancy Newsmakers Pte Ltd and digital media review application Okie Media Group.
Van Cuylenburg says: "Whenever we leave Flyboyz for home, we feel like we have left a bit of our souls back on that island. We will certainly be there often enough."
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