More bad news before Christmas. By Natasha Hong.
Crackerjack, the all-day restaurant-bar by The Proof Collective in Singapore, has announced it will be closing its main space on March 1 2018. Serving meals from breakfast time, and good value craft cocktails till late, the venue was a favourite among the industry as a third space, a launchpad for a night out, or as a venue for industry-centric events held during Singapore Cocktail Festival and beyond.
In an internal document announcing the move shared with DRiNK, The Proof Collective said that despite the “quality of the program and its warm public reception, great financial numbers just haven’t materialised for CJ”. It went on to elaborate that Crackerjack hadn’t met its sales revenue footing within the expected three to six months after opening, and 11 months on, hasn’t yet found its firm financial success – though it was keen to stress that it wasn’t losing money.
Citing the example of the closing of Tabla in New York, the first restaurant that legendary restaurateur Danny Meyer had to let go in 2010, the team announcement said: “[S]ometimes closing a venue is the right answer, even if the venue is pretty much amazing, and further, a closing can be done wisely.”
The good news though, is that Junior, the pop-up space with its own furtive back entrance along Cook Street, will continue operations. On the staffing front, Peter Chua will remain as head bartender with a few members of his current team, while the rest will either be transitioned to other roles within The Proof Collective or given opportunities with Proof’s account partners. All staff will also receive a thank you bonus for staying on until closing and be offered career counselling, said the memo.
From now until January, Crackerjack will be business as usual, with a plan to continue brunch and events at the space. In early January, service will be cut back to just coffee in the day and bar operations at night, with Junior still in operation. On Crackerjack’s last day on March 1 2018, the venue will host a farewell party at the space.
A new concept replacing Junior’s current agave-focused Norma theme in February 2018 will be announced at the turn of the new year. The rest of the space, after Crackerjack’s closure, will be converted into the office and headquarters of The Proof Collective.