- POSTED: 14 Dec 2013 20:18
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The weekend alcohol ban in Little India kicked in at 6am on Saturday morning and when Channel NewsAsia visited the area in the afternoon, some shopkeepers said they were less busy than usual.
SINGAPORE: The weekend alcohol ban in Little India kicked in at 6am on Saturday morning and when Channel NewsAsia visited the area in the afternoon, some shopkeepers said they were less busy than usual.
The ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol at Little India comes after a riot took place there on December 8.
The Countryside Cafe normally sees about 25 customers for breakfast and lunch on weekends. However, on the first day of the alcohol ban in Little India, the cafe's manager said that only four to five customers turned up.
Krishna Kumar, the manager, said: "Tomorrow we will not be opening. Today, I'm planning to tell my service staff that not everybody needs to come. No point. Let them take a rest. At least that way, they are happy we are giving them a day off, rather than come here and stand there looking at the sky."
Mr Krishna said the alcohol ban is likely to affect about 25 per cent of its business.
To try and entice more customers, the cafe has also decided to bring in mock beers from its suppliers.
At the S&YMD convenience store, which relies heavily on liquor sales for its income, it is expecting takings to dip.
However, it said that it was choosing to remain open in the event that customers are interested in its other products.
The store's manager, Srividhya Kannaiyan, said: "Today's very quiet, compared to the other weeks. We are experiencing a more than 90 per cent loss for this week, particularly Saturday. I think tomorrow will be the same."
Some foreign workers we spoke to said they also noticed the area was not as busy compared to previous weekends.
The alcohol ban will last till Monday morning.
Little India is not the only place with stepped up security.
Mall operators and shopkeepers at several other locations where foreign workers congregate are erring on the side of caution.
City Square Mall is a popular hangout for Indian and Bangladeshi workers. Stall holders said they are keeping a close watch to make sure customers do not bring alcohol into the area to drink.
At Peninsula Plaza, where Myanmar nationals frequent, tenants said customers can drink alcohol in the food courts.
Over at Golden Mile Complex, which is popular among Thais, shopkeepers said they will call the police if anyone causes trouble after a few drinks.