Differentiation between a Restaurant and a Bar

  Published: 23 December 2015
Circular No : URA/PB/2015/11-DCG
Fax : 6227 4792 (URA)

Who Should Know:
Food & Beverage operators

Effective Date:
With immediate effect

  1. We wish to remind all food and beverage operators that premises which are approved for Restaurant use, should not be materially changed to a Bar or Pub for any period of time in the day or night without planning approval from URA.
  2. We have observed that some premises are being publicised and used as “Restaurant and Bar” when they are approved only for Restaurant use.  Unauthorised Bar use sited in wrong locations often give rise to noise nuisance, as well as other disamenities affecting the surrounding areas and community.
  3. When premises are approved for Restaurant use, the primary purpose should be the sale of food for consumption on the premises (with no live music performances or live entertainment), and where the sale of liquor and alcoholic drinks (if any) is for consumption on the premises and incidental to the consumption of food.

    In evaluating whether premises approved for Restaurant use is materially changed to a Bar or Pub, the following are some of the considerations which URA will take into account:
    1. Whether there is a kitchen or area for preparation of food located within the premises, and whether food and meals are made available to customers at all times until a reasonable time prior to closing of the premises during or at the end of the day;
    2. Whether there are adequate dining spaces within the indoor areas of the premises which are suitably furnished for customers to have their food and meals;
    3. Whether there are any marketing or publicity materials at or in the premises or any other place, forum or platform (e.g. banners, Facebook) representing or indicating that the premises is a place for liquor or alcoholic drinking; and
    4. Whether the premises is decorated in any manner or with paraphernalia associated with a Bar or Pub use to give public the idea or perception that it is a place primarily for liquor or alcoholic drinking.
  4. If the premises approved for Restaurant use is considered to have materially changed for any period of the day or night to a Bar or Pub with the primary purpose of selling liquor and alcoholic drinks for consumption on the premises, a separate planning approval will need to be applied to URA and obtained for this change of use. Such application will be subject to a more stringent evaluation and assessment in the context of the surrounding uses.
  5. I would appreciate it if you could convey the contents of this circular to the relevant members of your organisation. If you or your members have any queries concerning this circular, please do not hesitate to call URA’s Development Control Group (DCG) Enquiry Line at Tel: 6223 4811 or email us at ura_dcd@ura.gov.sg. For your information, past circulars and guidelines are available at our website http://www.ura.gov.sg.
Thank You.

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