As it seems, ending the year with a bang is off the (dinner) table this December.
The annual New Year’s Eve display of fireworks is the latest to fall victim to the ongoing pandemic. For the first time since 2005, there will be no dazzling display of fireworks to light up the sky at Marina Bay; instead, the fireworks will set off at various heartland areas across Singapore.
That, along with existing safe distancing measures, means that restaurant operators in Singapore have to re-look their annual New Year’s Eve offerings. What was once glitzy, late-night celebratory affairs will now have to be pared down – in groups of no more than eight come the arrival of Phase 3, and no serving of alcohol past 10.30pm.
“It is an incredible impact for what used to one of the most important nights for us,” says Martin Bém, founding managing director of Level33. The rooftop microbrewery is used to hosting midnight dinners, complete with free-flowing alcohol and unblocked views of the countdown fireworks. There will be none of that this year. Martin adds: “The early closing time does not even allow our guests to welcome 2021 in an F&B venue; no glasses of champagne to welcome the new year.”
Without the allure of fireworks, or the ability to raise a toast at the stroke of midnight, many F&B and nightlife operators are finding new ways, and reasons, to keep up the revelry.