Tanjong Pagar restaurant-bar Crackerjack to close in March 2018

Crackerjack said it would be closing on March 1 next year, though operations will continue as usual until the end of 2017.
Crackerjack said it would be closing on March 1 next year, though operations will continue as usual until the end of 2017. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/CRACKERJACK

SINGAPORE - After 11 months of operation, multi-concept American restaurant, bar and coffee joint Crackerjack announced on Monday (Dec 18) that it is closing on March 1 next year, as financial numbers have not met expectations.

The establishment, run by spirits distribution company and consultancy Proof & Company, is located at 43 Tanjong Pagar Road and opened in January this year. Proof & Company is also behind speakeasy bar 28 Hong Kong Street.

While operations will continue as usual until the end of the year, the breakfast and lunch menu will be discontinued from January, and Crackerjack will offer only a night-time service which includes dinner and cocktails.

The establishment's daytime coffee programme will continue until March, while the adjoining 10-seat pocket bar Junior will continue to operate under head bartender Peter Chua, with its next menu expected to launch in February.

Since opening in July this year, under co-head bartenders Chua and Zachary De Git, the bar ran a menu centering around agave spirits such as tequila, mezcal and raicilla. De Git will be leaving to pursue other opportunities.

The Crackerjack space will then be refitted to become the global headquarters of The Proof Collective.

Last month, Proof & Company's co-founders Paul Gabie and Spencer Forhart told The Straits Times that the company is in the midst of consolidating all its business units under one umbrella called The Proof Collective.

The move to consolidate sees its first loss in Crackerjack. An internal memo sent to staff said that despite the "quality of the programme and warm public reception, great financial numbers just haven't materialised for CJ (Crackerjack)".

"For a new venue in our market, we would normally expect to see it get its sales revenue footing within three to six months after launch... CJ is now 11 months post-launch and is not yet solidly successful in financial terms."

It goes on to say: "Numbers are not terrible, but they are not good enough to justify staying the course when we have so many other amazing initiatives and opportunities. We must put our energy into the areas that will bring the most success to the Collective as a whole."

Staff are expected to be moved around to alternative roles in the Collective, which consults for clients such as Quayside private members' club 1880, Regent Hotel Singapore's Manhattan bar and grand lobby bar Atlas in Parkview Square.

Earlier this year, Proof also entered a joint venture with premium wine merchant Sarment and invested significantly in fast-growing Australian craft spirits distributors Neat Spirits.