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Old 22nd February 2013, 12:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Zirca to close, last party on Saturday

Zirca to close, last party on Saturday



LifeBrandz closes venue after 4 years but remains coy on future plans.

Zul Othman
Fri, Feb 22, 2013
The New Paper


ZIRCA, which is operated by public listed entertainment company LifeBrandz, will shut its doors after its last party on Saturday following a four-year tenure at Clarke Quay.

The New Paper has learnt that the 1,728 sqm venue, which plays pop-house music, will close, making way for "new concepts" following renovations which begin next week.

However, the 442 sq m Rebel - Zirca's sister club popular with hip-hop and R&Bfans - will remain open.

When contacted yesterday, Mr Gavin Choo, 32, LifeBrandz' marketing and communication manager, confirmed this development, adding: "We have spent the last three months planning for this change."

TNP understands that employees were told of this decision on Tuesday morning. What will become of the venue remains unclear.

Mr Choo did not provide details, only saying: "At the moment we can't say how long the renovations will take but all Zirca staff will remain employed with LifeBrandz."

As for the fate of the venue, he said: "We have some new exciting concepts coming up and this will be announced very soon."

LifeBrandz will continue to operate its other nightlife venues in Clarke Quay, he added.

These include live music venue Aquanova, lounge Playhouse and Irish pub Mulligan's.

Despite murmurs of slow business for clubs in an area overwhelmed with clubbing options, nightlife operators say such rebranding exercises - that is, changing the name of the venue and introducing a new theme to go with it - are not unusual.

Mr Andrew Ing, the chief operating officer of The Lo & Behold Group, told TNP: "I think you need original ideas (in the nightlife scene) so maybe the operators decided Zirca is not original any more, so that's why they changed it."

Established in 2005, The Lo & Behold group owns and manages a chain of bars and restaurants, including Tanjong Beach Club at Sentosa and The White Rabbit on Dempsey Hill.

Agreeing, Mr Mike Lim, who manages The Arena R&B club in Clarke Quay and Romeo bar in Orchard Towers , added: "I don't think the move means Clarke Quay has lost its shine among clubbers.

"You need to refresh your brands, especially at a time when there are many clubs and many clubbers who are spoiled for choice."

Ups and downs

Opened in November 2008 following the closure of Ministry of Sound (MOS), Zirca promised to bring a touch of Las Vegas-style clubbing to Clarke Quay - complete with live performers and a see-through suspended swimming pool.

LifeBrandz brought in MOS in 2005 but it closed following a dispute.

London-based entertainment company MSHK Group, which owns the MOS brand, slapped LifeBrandz with a lawsuit but it was settled out of court in 2009.

The two parties declined to reveal the terms of the settlement.

Last year, LifeBrandz, the anchor tenant at Clarke Quay, downsized from 80,000 sq ft to about 60,000 sq ft. LifeBrandz chief executive Bernard Lim told The Straits Times the move was to streamline operations, following the group's poor financial performance in 2011.

For the financial year ending July 2011, LifeBrandz posted a net loss of $2.5 million.

That same year, LifeBrandz shut down its live music venue Yello Jello and nightclub Lunar at Clarke Quay, as well as Cafe Del Mar in Sentosa.

Source: http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%...21-403507.html

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Old 12th March 2013, 05:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Zirca to close, last party on Saturday

so sad it is the first club i visited

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Old 12th March 2013, 07:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Zirca to close, last party on Saturday

it was the 2nd club i first went to

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