Tang taking China Club to the Lion City

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 December, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 December, 2000, 12:00am

After Hong Kong and Beijing, David Tang wants to bring the joys of the China Club to Singapore.

The businessman and socialite says he has teamed up with CapitaLand, Southeast Asia's biggest property developer, to open one of his exclusive watering holes in the Lion City next year.

'What we want to create here is a bit of drama, a bit of interest, but not forgetting that we have a club to serve members and we only concentrate on doing two things - providing the best food and the best service,' Mr Tang told The Business Times in Singapore.

The 12,000 square foot Singapore venture - which Mr Tang will oversee as it is fitted out - will be very much in the mould of its Hong Kong predecessor.

The club will come with two dining rooms; a trademark Long March Bar, emblazoned with Mao memorabilia; private areas and a pavilion-style room decorated to resemble an old mainland opera house, the newspaper reported.

Those who wish to be seen there will be asked to part with a cool S$15,000 (about HK$66,795) a head for membership. Mr Tang is to launch a recruitment drive next week to pull in up to 800 of the city's great and good.

The impetus for the scheme appears to have come from Liew Mun Leong, CapitaLand's president and chief executive officer.

After a visit to the SAR's China Club some years ago, Mr Liew decided that Singapore executives should be offered the same tried-and-tested format.

CapitaLand holds 40 per cent of the Singapore business, supported by a range of smaller investors, including HPL Leisure, run by Singapore businessman Ong Beng Seng. The club will be on the 52nd floor of CapitaLand's headquarters, with a 'stunning view of the business district and Marina Bay'.

Mr Liew told the paper that he wanted to promote a club with a difference.

'Most town clubs you go to, all over the world whether San Francisco or Sydney, look the same,' Mr Liew said. 'But can anyone tell me if they remember a town club that impresses them? This one will be something that people will walk out of and remember.'

Next April, Mr Tang will know whether his new partner was right.