New Year, new deaths

Nothing lives forever in the F&B scene, not even veterans like gastropub House at Dempsey. More than 10 years after its opening, the restaurant is shuttering business, as announced in a Facebook post today (Jan 17).

A decade is no doubt a decent run, but House is an institution we’ll miss having around. Not to be confused with Cookhouse at Dempsey, the restaurant by the Spa Esprit Group is often seen as an old-timer in the scene, opening at the same time Country City Investment first opened the Dempsey Hill dining cluster in 2007. In its chic, laidback space, visitors dined on Western fare and comfort food like steak and truffle fries, as well as a variety of desserts.

Its closure on Jan 31, hence, marks the end of an era.

In response to queries, Spa Esprit’s Cynthia Chua shared that they were “told by the landlord that the lease will not be renewed and the government is taking back the lease”—a story not unlike that of other prominent dining establishments who’ve had to face an expiration date on their operations. At present, there are no plans to move House elsewhere.

“House is a big place and many of our staff have been there for a long time, so we need time to reallocate them to our other restaurants,” said Chua. “It will not be easy to find another location where House sits; House is special.”

Could 11 years really be too ambitious for an independent restaurant? As the House management said, for every door that closes, a new one opens. We’ll be waiting, but for now we’ll be passing the tissues around.