Lease dispute could mean lights out for Singapore’s ‘Nox Dine in the Dark’

The interior of the restaurant at Beach Road. Photo: NOX Dine in the Dark/Facebook
The interior of the restaurant at Beach Road. Photo: NOX Dine in the Dark/Facebook

A Singapore restaurant where diners eat in pitch darkness is at risk of closing due to a landlord dispute. 

The management behind Nox Dine in the Dark on Beach Road prepared fans for the worst, announcing today that they were unsure whether they can continue operating after its lease expires at the end of June. The company went public as it tries to convince its landlord to change its mind and extend the lease.

“It is with great sadness that we today announce an uncertain future of NOX – Dine In The Dark after eight years in operation as our landlord is disputing the validity of our renewal clause and has demanded we vacate the premises by the end of June 2021,” the restaurant said in a statement today. 

Located in a two-story shophouse, the restaurant has served fine dining fare in dark rooms to thousands of guests since opening in 2013. The waiters, who are mostly visually impaired, attended to diners during their 12-course meals. 

Owner Jesper Gustafsson said that while they were still hoping to resolve the dispute with the landlord, they are also open to others who might be able to take them in. 

If the restaurant has to close, his staff would “suffer” the most since they would have to find new jobs amid the pandemic, he said.  

“I started NOX – Dine In The Dark with consideration of the amazing skills the blind workforce can bring to such a unique dining experience for customers,” he said in a message. “We are currently communicating with our landlord and hopefully this can be resolved so that we can continue our operations.”

NOX – Dine In The Dark
269 Beach Road
Open 6pm till late Tuesday to Sunday, closed Monday

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