Love The World Soul Rock Restaurant, Bar & Bistro uses music to penetrate the marketplace.
|CN FILE PHOTO|
As far as restaurant-owner Samuel Seong Koon is concerned, Christian music is not just good for church. At Love The World Soul Rock Restaurant, Bar & Bistro, located in the Singapore Flyer Retail Terminal, customers can wine and dine on good food while enjoying live bands performing Christian and inspirational pop songs.
Upon stepping into LTW, one will find a large and cosy indoor area which opens out to a breezy alfresco exterior overlooking the mouth of the Singapore River and the F1 race track. It can be customized for various events, ranging from birthday parties and company functions to album launches. Its concept is inspired by City Harvest Church.
Seong Koon explained, “Before setting up LTW, I went to many churches to draw inspiration from them. When I visited City Harvest Church, I was amazed by the music band. It was not only professional, but carried a certain vibe, a unique anointing.”
The name “Love The World” originates from the Bible verse from John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave.” The concept of giving is practised in LTW, where a portion of its proceeds from merchandise goes to helping adopted charities’ outreach to needy youths in Singapore.
LTW’s unique concept has been one of the critical factors in drawing crowds to the Singapore Flyer since its inception on Dec. 22, 2008. A day after their opening, the Singapore Flyer encountered a major technical fault resulting in people being trapped in the flyer’s cabins. As a result, visitor levels dropped. Seong Koon and his team started to work closely with the management of the Singapore Flyer to lure visitors back. Seong Koon used the opportunity to organize a Christian rock concert called the Concert of Hope. The event attracted more than 5,000 people to the Singapore Flyer and was even featured in The Straits Times and on Channel NewsAsia.
LTW has also hosted several events like The Holy Ghost Getai in September 2009, which was a crowd-puller. Instead of commemorating the Hungry Ghost Festival through prayers and the setting up of getais, which generally feature songs about stolen love and sadness, LTW decided to host an event with singers belting out Cantonese, Hokkien and Mandarin Christian and inspirational songs.
During Halloween last year, LTW held a Hell-No-Win concert depicting a hopeful and upbeat atmosphere. Instead of dressing the venue up with images of the dark side, LTW’s decorations showcased an “angel” theme.
LTW has also hosted local Christian artists like Alarice and Kevin Soh, an ex-convict-turned-gospel singer, as well as international artistes like Australian Chad Blondel and Australian-Chinese singer-songwriter Deb Fung who won the All-Australian Songwriter Award.
In 2010, with the support of Integrity Music, LTW aims to give Christian bands and singers an opportunity to showcase their talents in a Battle of the Bands Competition.
Seong Koon’s vision for LTW is to set up outlets in all the major cities in the world, duplicating the business model of Hard Rock Café. His view is that if a secular restaurant and bar can successfully expand into every major city, how much more LTW, whose vision is supported by Christians around the world.
LTW has begun talks to enter the Chinese market, with its first bar and bistro to be set up in Chengdu in Sichuan Province. The soft launch of LTW Chengdu will take place in August or September with its official opening scheduled for Oct. 4 this year. More LTW bars are slated to open in China.
Special discounts apply to CHC members. For more information, log on to lovetheworldsoulrock.com.