'I have licence, but I'd rather not sell'

STRICT: More than 10 coffee shops in Geylang have had their alcohol licenses revoked after customers were found drinking after stipulated hours. PHOTO: JEREMY LONG

The coffee shop famous for its fish head curry and economy rice at Geylang Lorong 25 proudly displays its beer licence on a wall behind the counter.

But when The New Paper asked if there was any beer to be had, the answer was "no".

And it has been this way since the start of the year.

When asked why, the coffee shop's manager, who gave his name only as Mr Wong, whipped out a stack of paper.

"You see," he lamented, "so many regulations. How not to get into trouble?"

Mr Wong also said the regulations have been more strictly enforced since the Little India riot last December.

He had been selling beer before the incident without any problems.

"Now, the police regulate a lot more strictly, and they do not even allow customers to drink at the tables along the walkway outside.

"My licence is still valid until the end of this year, but I will just let it run until it expires," said Mr Wong.

From the looks of the long queue at the stall though, it seems that Mr Wong is doing just fine without having to sell alcohol.

A regular customer there, Mr Wong Siew Mun, 58, said: "The food here is still good, so I don't mind that they do not have beer. I can just go to another coffee shop later to drink if I want to."