Full ST article
Finally found the soft copy of our ST article. Didn’t manage to find the main article though!
TRUST THE MERRY MEN FOR GOODIES
The Straits Times, 10 Oct 2010
EUGENE FUNG, SHAWN HENG, DANIEL SONG AND SAM NG
Age: All 29
What: The Merry Men, river-facing bar-restaurant serving cocktails and food
Where: 86 Robertson Quay, 01-02
Opening hours: Sundays, 3pm to midnight, Mondays to Thursdays, 5pm to midnight, Fridays, 5pm to 1am, Saturdays, 3pm to 2am
Friends since their secondary school days at Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), these men have seen one another grow from grubby school boys into working professionals.
Having worked for several years now, in industries ranging from banking and management consulting to law and physiotherapy, the four friends pooled their savings to start The Merry Men despite the fact that none has any experience in the food and beverage industry.
The $500,000 bar-cum-restaurant in Robertson Quay opened in August this year.
Mr Eugene Fung, who gave up his corporate finance job to oversee the day- to-day operations of the bar, says: “It was always something we had talked about when we were growing up.
“We thought that if we were going to drink somewhere, we would want to drink at a place we could call our own.”
Only two of the four partners – Mr Fung and Mr Shawn Heng, a consultant – are based in Singapore. Lawyer Daniel Song lives in Melbourne and physiotherapist Sam Ng lives in Perth.
In fact, Mr Song has not even seen the bar, let alone step foot in it.
So just as Robin Hood’s merry men depend on one another, these partners say trust is one of the most important pillars of their business.
Despite the physical distance, they discuss concepts and direction for their business over the telephone and through e-mail because “every idea matters”.
Mr Fung says they consulted other friends in the food and beverage industry before embarking on their dream.
He adds: “It has been a steep learning curve with everything from staffing to construction, but it is a very exciting one with a lot more fun times along the way.”