SINGAPORE: Hood Vibes café located in a Yishun HDB complex reported that their business had been impacted following a Facebook post by Nee Soon GRC Member of Parliament.
Earlier on 15 August, People’s Action Party MP Derrick Goh wrote on his Facebook page about how he had heard “rumblings” that a pub had started in his area at Block 468A Yishun Street 43.
At that time, the owner was absent, thus he conversed with two individuals managing the business, Praveen and Vinod.
“I did not believe such a license would be granted and hence decided to personally check it out,” he mentioned, noting that he, along with HDB officers, visited the café on Saturday, (12 Aug).
Nevertheless, as he walked into the establishment, he was surprised to indeed see a ‘pub set-up.’
“Beer and hard liquor were available for sale, and there were patrons most of whom I did not recognize as Nee Soon Link residents.”
Goh stated that the HDB had clarified that the business was granted café license, however even they “were also surprised” to see “what was clearly” a liquor joint.
He assured that an investigation is due to see if there was any potential breach of licensing condition, while also thanking the Forest Meadow RN and HDB’s members for joining him.
Residents’ prior complaints
On Saturday (19 Aug), a report in the Chinese evening daily mentioned that residents had lodged complaints about the disruptive noises originating from the café.
“There were people talking loudly after 7pm and it got worse after 11pm,” one resident said. “They were talking and laughing loudly outside and you could hear yelling.”
Expressing their viewpoint, another resident named Chen stated that if the café is genuinely functioning as a pub, it should not be permitted to remain operational.
“There would be second-hand smoke and fights,” she added. “I’m afraid the children here will be affected.”
Residents with children also raises concerns over the cigarette smoke coming from the ‘pub.”
Due to patrons smoking, they had “to walk a longer route away from the area” when going to or leaving their home, as reported by Mothership.
“We are just a simple café.”
Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, the owner clarified that the establishment holds an alcohol license and is categorized as a café, not a pub.
She emphasized that the café’s operating hours are limited from 11am to 10pm.
“We do not have live performances, and we only play soft background music. We are just a simple café, otherwise we won’t be opening from the morning. We also sell pasta, chicken chop, and sushi etc.” she said.
She pointed out that the Facebook post by Nee Soon GRC MP Derrick Goh had a negative impact on her business, asserting that it was misleading because a prior inspection by the relevant authority did not reveal any issues.
She mentioned her intention to hold a discussion with Goh about the matter on Aug 21.
Regarding the late-night noise complaints, the owner suggested that they might be originating from other nearby residents.
She said: “We go home after 10pm. What the residents heard could have been noise from other neighbors, it should not be us,” emphasizing that there are no seats outside the eatery for patrons to linger.
On Instagram, Hood Vibes posted an update stating that the establishment is temporarily closed until further notice.