Raffles Place rent dispute

4 F&B outlets set to reopen tomorrow after stand-off ends

A cleaner disposing bags of seafood, including king crab and lobster, which had turned rotten since last week's stand-off between the landlord and the four food and beverage establishments. Executive chef Jeco Lin says that during the business shutdo
A cleaner disposing bags of seafood, including king crab and lobster, which had turned rotten since last week's stand-off between the landlord and the four food and beverage establishments. Executive chef Jeco Lin says that during the business shutdown, more than 200kg of food, including two expired shipments of food stored in a warehouse, had to be thrown out.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
A waitress cleaning up the premises of Sear Steakhouse in preparation for its reopening tomorrow.
A waitress cleaning up the premises of Sear Steakhouse in preparation for its reopening tomorrow.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
At Lower East Side 45 restaurant, several boxes of raw ingredients for cooking, as well as eggs and strawberries that had turned bad, were taken out for disposal.
At Lower East Side 45 restaurant, several boxes of raw ingredients for cooking, as well as eggs and strawberries that had turned bad, were taken out for disposal.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Landlord willing to accept offer to settle rental arrears in full, says owner of the outlets

A stand-off over rent between the landlord of Singapore Land Tower and four food and beverage (F&B) establishments was resolved yesterday. About 50 staff are set to move back to their workplaces in the 48-storey skyscraper in Raffles Place.

Mr Christopher Lim, managing director of Fifty Raffles Place, which owns the four outlets, announced that they will all be reopening tomorrow, about 10 days after staff had first been denied access.

Mr Lim said yesterday that "the landlord offered to finally accept the offer of Fifty Raffles Place to settle the rental arrears in full".

This was after Fifty Raffles Place served an originating summons for the re-entry into their premises, he added.

The four outlets are Angie's Oyster Bar, Empire Sky Lounge, Sear Steakhouse and Lower East Side 45.

Fifty Raffles Place is a glass penthouse located on the 45th and 46th levels of Singapore Land Tower, with a 360-degree view of Marina Bay, Fort Canning and the blue seas.

The four restaurants are on the 45th floor.

Tower owner S.L. Development moved in on April 29 to repossess the premises after $685,957 was allegedly owed in unpaid rent and three letters of demand were sent by its lawyers.

In a statement to The Straits Times yesterday, Mr Lim said that the missing rent was due to "accounting changes" on the part of the landlord and that the company was willing to settle the debt in full.

  • 200kg

    Estimated amount of food, including two expired shipments in a warehouse, that had to be discarded.

  • 10

    Number of days the outlets stayed shut.

  • $686k

    Rent that was allegedly owed to the owner of Singapore Land Tower.

The landlord's lawyer, Mr Toh Kok Seng, said the impasse occurred because the tenant had made various offers of partial payment with conditions attached, which the landlord was unable to accept.

Last Friday, 14 employees who submitted forms to access the premises were allowed in, three at a time, to retrieve their personal belongings.

The landlord could not be reached by press time.

During the business shutdown, "over 200kg of food, including the two expired shipments (of food) stored in our warehouse, had to be thrown out", executive chef Jeco Lin told The Straits Times yesterday.

This included live mussels, fish, oysters, king crab and lobster.

Pre-made sauces, mouldy fruit and open wine bottles also had to be discarded.

Ms Erica Ng, marketing manager of Empire Sky Lounge, said: "There was a lot of pressure on every department as we needed to answer to our suppliers and clients who were calling for refunds."

Mr Lim said: "We are still tallying the costs, but conservatively, we've already lost $24,000 to $26,000 worth of goods that needed to be thrown out or replaced."

He added: "I'm relieved the saga is over but I'm frustrated because there's a big mountain to climb now. This could have been avoided."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 09, 2019, with the headline '4 F&B outlets set to reopen tomorrow after stand-off ends'. Print Edition | Subscribe