Muddy Murphy's returns to its original Claymore Road site
Singapore's iconic traditional Irish pub Muddy Murphy's is moving back to its original site after spending three years at TripleOne Somerset.
For 17 years, the popular watering hole was located at the basement of Orchard Hotel Shopping Arcade - now known as Claymore Connect - before moving to TripleOne Somerset in 2013 due to extensive redevelopment of the premises.
It is now at Level One of Claymore Connect.
A soft opening will tentatively kick off in the week of Aug 22, followed by a grand opening that will feature traditional Irish dances and the breaking of a bottle.
Mr Bjorn Seegers, 32, CEO of Muddy Murphy Holdings, the parent company of Muddy Murphy's, told The New Paper last Friday: "I think we've been able to marry the old and the new synergy of this pub.
"It's new, it's got some light touches, yet it still looks like Muddy's. That's the most important thing - that it's still authentic and has the feel."
The revamped Muddy Murphy's is the biggest it's been at 4,000 sq ft.
The previous outlet at Orchard Hotel Shopping Arcade was 3,400 sq ft and the one at TripleOne Somerset was 3,600 sq ft.
Mr Seegers, who is based here and has South African and Dutch citizenship, said: "Each time we redesign the pub, we have to be very careful not to lose the essence and feeling of the traditional cottage barn."
Renovations cost around $2.1 million and took about six weeks to complete, with a total of 55 men on the job.
Rental now is $45,000 a month. It was $30,000 at Orchard Hotel Shopping Arcade and $40,000 at TripleOne Somerset.
Its lease at TripleOne Somerset was prematurely terminated on July 11 because Perennial Real Estate Holdings had bought the building over from Pacific Star Group and wanted to redevelop the premises.
Claymore Connect landlord, CDL Hospitality Trusts, had approached Muddy Murphy's in April to ask if it was keen to return to the old location, and after much discussion, the pub secured a 10-year lease for the site.
Mr Seegers said: "People were actually upset and angry about our move the first time because maybe they took for granted a place they frequented and loved.
"The second move was another shocker but it was very quickly quelled the moment we put up the sign saying, 'We're coming home'.
"On average, we receive about 100 e-mails a day and phone calls asking us: 'Are you open yet? Can I make a reservation?'
"We've realised that this time, a lot of people have missed us. There are people flying back to Singapore just for the opening."
Regular patron Peter Teo, a 52-year-old chief engineer at Hilton Singapore, is looking forward to the return of Muddy Murphy's to its original location.
He told TNP: "I used to go there twice or thrice a week.
"I didn't visit the TripleOne outlet often because it was further down from my workplace. I went there once a week at most.
"It's great that it's moving back to the old place. I miss the food and drinks."
Loyal customer Yudesh Soobrayan, a 30-year-old sales manager and Singapore permanent resident, would go to the original Muddy Murphy's once a week since 2010.
But after it moved to TripleOne Somerset, he didn't go as often because he felt the pub had a different atmosphere.
He said: "The move back is fantastic because that's where the original memories were created.
"Muddy Murphy's gives me a sense of comfort and belonging. I feel at home when I see the same staff members and regulars there."
There are people flying back to Singapore just for the opening.
- Mr Bjorn Seegers, CEO of Muddy Murphy Holdings