Jack's Place

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The logo of Jack’s Place was inspired by the former owner of the restaurant, Jack Hunt.[1] Photo from Jack's Place's Facebook.

Jack’s Place is an established restaurant chain and household name for Western cuisine in Singapore. First founded in 1966 as a bar by a Britishman called Jack Hunt, the ownership was then passed on to a Hainanese chef by the name of Say Lip Hai a few years later.[2] Since then, Say Lip Hai and his family built Jack's place to be a household name in Singapore. Jack's Place was recognised as the flagship restaurant in Singapore to offer Western cuisine at reasonable prices. Jack's Place is now managed by the JP Pepperdine Group.

Origins

An archival image of Jack's Place depicting the checkered table cloths iconic to the restaurant. Photo from Jack's Place.

Say Lip Hai initially worked as an army chef for the British soldiers based at Sembawang, preparing dishes such as roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.[3][4] Following his stint as an army chef, Say Lip Hai became a restaurateur and opened Cola Restaurant and Bar in 1967.[5] In 1968, a British housewife had been impressed by the dishes he served and requested Say Lip Hai to work at her husband’s pub located at Killiney Road. Her husband's name was Jack Hunt and thus the pub was named Jack's Place.[6] Say Lip Hai agreed and managed the kitchen of the bar.[7]


In 1974, the British couple relocated back to London and transferred the ownership of the bar to Say Lip Hai at a price of S$28,000.[8] In 1975, he revamped the pub and modified it into both a restaurant and pub.[9] The restaurant started to serve steaks and it became their signature dish up till today. In 1985, the restaurant served a 4-course meal set consisting of a steak at only S$7.00.[10]

Growth

Initial expansion in Singapore

The second Jack's Place outlet opened for operations at Yen San Building in Orchard Road in 1977.[11] This outlet had a 90 people seating capacity on top of a cocktail lounge that could accommodate another 50 people.[12] At the time, Jack's Place at Yen San Building sold hard liquor for S$2.30 and draft beer at S$1.90.[13] Subsequently, Say Lip Hai opened an outlet located in Ang Mo Kio in 1979. This was the flagship Jack's Place outlet in Singapore's heartlands.[14] After launching another outlet at Hotel Miramar, combined monthly sales reportedly increased from S$30,000 to S$450,000.[15]

The interior of the Jack's Place outlet at Jewel Changi Airport. Photo from Jack's Place's Facebook.


By 1989, there were 9 branches and 1 seafood restaurant. Approximately 2,400 customers patronised the restaurants every weekday and the company attained sales of around S$1 million a month.[16] At the time, the steaks were imported from Harris Ranch in the United States of America which was reportedly the biggest beef manufacturer in California.[17] In 1991, Jack's Place opened a headquarters at Defu Lane. Two years later, they also started offering catering services.[18] Despite these successes, Jack's Place had also been affected negatively by the mad cow disease crisis between 1996 and 1997.[19] Although the transmittable disease only affected beef imported from the UK, public paranoia affected the general sales of beef products in Singapore.[20][21][22]

JP Pepperdine Group

Say Lip Hai passed away in 2009. Following his death, the management of the company had been passed over to the second and third generations of the Say family.[23] As of 2015, the Chief Operating Officer of Jack's Place is Jerry Lim, the grandson of founder Say Lip Hai.[24] Inspired by the traits of pepper, the company was later named JP Pepperdine Group.[25] As of June 2019, Jack's Place has 14 branches in Singapore including one in Jewel Changi Airport.[26]

Expansion overseas

In 2003, Jack’s Place expanded overseas and opened its flagship restaurant in Malaysia at Utama Shopping Centre.[27] Plans to expand to Shanghai, China had also been reported. However, due to differences in overseas consumers’ taste and preferences and poor advertising, all overseas operations had been ceased.[28]

JP Pepperdine Group franchises

Other than managing Jack's Place, the JP Pepperdine Group has expanded over the years to open a variety of food and beverage outlets in Singapore.

Year Store name Description Current operation status
2017 Yeh Ting JP Pepperdine Group opened “Yeh Ting” at Woodlands Civic Centre in 2017.[29] Within the same year, it opened a second branch at Broadway Plaza, Ang Mo Kio. Yeh Ting specialises in homestyle Hainanese dishes. It is best known for its Coconut and Chicken Soup Pot. As of June 2019, the outlet in Ang Mo Kio is permanently closed.[30]
2017 Tiny Red Dot JP Pepperdine Group started selling packaged salted egg fish skin snacks at Jack’s Place and Eatzi Gourmet branches under the brand name "Tiny Red Dot".[31] Tiny Red Dot has had pop-up stalls at Junction 8, Velocity Novena and Harbourfront Centre.[32] It also produced new snacks such as salted egg potato chips, laksa fish skin and nasi lemak potato chips.[33] -
2017 Slice & Dice JP Pepperdine Group opened an eatery called “Slice & Dice” at Causeway Point in 2017.[34] The food stall offered salads and rice bowls. As of June 2019, the food stall is permanently closed.[35]
2015 Cola Cafe In conjunction with the 49th anniversary of Jack's Place, JP Pepperdine Group launched “Cola Cafe” at Paya Lebar Square in 2015.[36] The cafe offered lunch and dinner meals and sweet food items. The cafe has also partnered with Udders ice-cream and Smitten Coffee. As of June 2019, the restaurant is permanently closed.[37]
2012 Kkongdon Barbeque In 2012, JP Pepperdine Group attained the franchising license to manage Kkongdon Barbeque in Singapore.[38] Kkongdon Barbeque specialises in Korean-style barbeque.[39]


Its flagship restaurant was launched at Marina Link and subsequently, a second branch was opened at SAFRA Toa Payoh. In 2013, 2 more outlets were opened at Parkway Parade and Djitsun Mall.[40]

As of June 2019, all outlets are permanently closed.
2010 Restaurant Hoshigaoka In 2010, JP Pepperdine Group attained the franchising license to manage Restaurant Hoshigaoka in Singapore.  In 2011, it opened 2 branches at Eastpoint Mall and Woodlands Civic Centre. In 2012, 2 more branches were launched at The Grandstand and SAFRA Toa Payoh.[41] As of June 2019, all outlets are permanently closed.
2008 Brewbaker’s Kitchen & Bar In 2008, JP Pepperdine Group launched Brewbaker’s Kitchen & Bar at Anchorvale Community Centre.[42] The restaurant served both Japanese and Western cuisine. As of June 2019, it has been confirmed that the restaurant has ceased its operations.[43]
2006 Eatzi Gourmet Bistro JP Pepperdine Group opened a Halal-certified eatery named “Eatzi Gourmet” at SAFRA Yishun Country Club in 2006.[44] There was also another branch located at Eastpoint Mall. In 2011, the outlet located at Eastpoint was shifted to Bedok Point. In 2013, a branch was launched at ITE Ang Mo Kio. The outlets served similar dishes to the ones in Jack’s Place. They also offer seafood dishes such as oysters and prawn salads.[45] As of June 2019, it is confirmed that the branches at ITE Ang Mo Kio and Bedok Point are permanently closed and a new branch had been opened at Paya Lebar Square.[46]
2003 Seafood Harvest In 2003, JP Pepperdine Group created a new franchise called “Seafood Harvest”. The outlet opened at Bugis Junction in 2007.[47] The restaurant specialised in seafood western dishes such as grilled cod fish, lobster bisque, seafood pasta and smoked salmon. As of June 2019, the restaurant is permanently closed.[48]
1986 Eatzi Gourmet Bakery In 1986, the company opened a bakery called “Jack’s Cake House”.[49] In 2006, the bakery received its Halal certification and changed its name to “Eatzi Gourmet Bakery”.


As of June 2019, the bakery offers customised cakes, cupcakes, dessert tables and cookies.

-

Awards

Year Title
2018 Bronze in Field & Forest category in Food & Hotel Asia
2016 Gold medal in Practical Hot Cooking category, Silver for Practical Hot Cooking category, and Bronze in Desserts category in FHA 2016
2015 Singapore Quality Class Award
2015 Champion in Western Professional category & runner-up in Western Aspiring Category for RAS Star Chef Competition 2015
2014 Bronze medal for Free Style Wedding Cake Display for Food & Hotel Asia 2014
2014 Bronze medal for Free Style Wedding Cake Display for Food & Hotel Asia
2013 1st Runner up for Star Chef Competition (Aspiring Team)
2012 Total Defence Awards
2011 Singapore Prestige Brand Award
2011 Most Popular Brand Award
2011 Asiaone People’s Choice Award 2010
2010 Parent’s World (Best of the Best Family Restaurant 2010/11)
2007 HACCP Certification
2007 RAS Restaurant Award
2004 - 2006 Singapore Promising Awards
2004 HPB Health Award (Bronze)
2003 SuperBrands Award
2001 Singapore SME 500/1000

References / Citations

  1. Quek, Eunice. “COO Jerry Lim spearheads facelift for restaurant chain Jack's Place”. The Straits Times. July 27, 2015. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/food/coo-jerry-lim-spearheads-facelift-for-restaurant-chain-jacks-place
  2. "Succulent steaks, good wines give Jack's a new flavour". The Straits Times. March 6, 1985. Accessed on 3 July 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  3. “Enter a World of Advertisement in Old Singapore (Part 1)”. Remember Singapore. December 13, 2014. Accessed on 18 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://remembersingapore.org/2014/12/13/singapore-vintage-advertisement-posters/
  4. Wang Hui Fen. "Growing appetite for expansion". The Straits Times. June 13, 2004. Accessed on 3 July 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  5. Wang Hui Fen. "Growing appetite for expansion". The Straits Times. June 13, 2004. Accessed on 3 July 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  6. Tan, Angeline. “Succulent steaks, good wines give Jack’s new flavour”. The Straits Times. March 6, 1985. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  7. “Enter a World of Advertisement in Old Singapore (Part 1)”. Remember Singapore. December 13, 2014. Accessed on 18 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://remembersingapore.org/2014/12/13/singapore-vintage-advertisement-posters/
  8. Quek, Eunice. “COO Jerry Lim spearheads facelift for restaurant chain Jack's Place”. The Straits Times. July 27, 2015. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/food/coo-jerry-lim-spearheads-facelift-for-restaurant-chain-jacks-place
  9. "Succulent steaks, good wines give Jack's a new flavour". The Straits Times. March 6, 1985. Accessed on 3 July 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  10. Tan, Angeline. “Succulent steaks, good wines give Jack’s new flavour”. The Straits Times. March 6, 1985. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  11. Quek, Eunice. “COO Jerry Lim spearheads facelift for restaurant chain Jack's Place”. The Straits Times. July 27, 2015. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/food/coo-jerry-lim-spearheads-facelift-for-restaurant-chain-jacks-place
  12. "Jack's Place - a cosy spot for meals". New Nation. August 28, 1979. Accessed on 3 July 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  13. "Jack's Place - a cosy spot for meals". New Nation. August 28, 1979. Accessed on 3 July 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  14. Quek, Eunice. “COO Jerry Lim spearheads facelift for restaurant chain Jack's Place”. The Straits Times. July 27, 2015. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/food/coo-jerry-lim-spearheads-facelift-for-restaurant-chain-jacks-place
  15. Tan, Angeline. “Succulent steaks, good wines give Jack’s new flavour”. The Straits Times. March 6, 1985. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  16. Lim, Swee Hong. “Different prices that give same, good value”. New Paper. April 17, 1989. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  17. Lim, Swee Hong. “Different prices that give same, good value”. New Paper. April 17, 1989. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  18. “Milestones”. JP pepperdine GROUP. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://jppepperdine.com/milestones
  19. Quek, Eunice. “COO Jerry Lim spearheads facelift for restaurant chain Jack's Place”. The Straits Times. July 27, 2015. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/food/coo-jerry-lim-spearheads-facelift-for-restaurant-chain-jacks-place
  20. "More countries ban British beef imports". The Business Times. March 23, 1996. Accessed on 4 July 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  21. "Tricks of the trade". The Business Times. July 6, 1996. Accessed on 4 July 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  22. Hau Boon Lai. "Little beef from Britain but S'poreans taking no chances". The Straits Times. March 23, 1996. Accessed on 4 July 2019. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  23. Don Mendoza. “New look for Jack’s Place”. Today. April 23, 2015. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.todayonline.com/lifestyle/food/new-look-jacks-place
  24. Quek, Eunice. "COO Jerry Lim spearheads facelift for restaurant chain Jack's Place". The Straits Times. July 27, 2015. Accessed on 3 July 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/food/coo-jerry-lim-spearheads-facelift-for-restaurant-chain-jacks-place
  25. “Brand Story”. JP Pepperdine Group. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://jppepperdine.com/brand-story
  26. “LOCATIONS”. Jack’s Place. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.jacksplace.com.sg/locations/
  27. “Milestones”. JP Pepperdine Group. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://jppepperdine.com/milestones
  28. Quek, Eunice. “COO Jerry Lim spearheads facelift for restaurant chain Jack's Place”. The Straits Times. July 27, 2015. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/food/coo-jerry-lim-spearheads-facelift-for-restaurant-chain-jacks-place
  29. “Milestones”. JP Pepperdine Group. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://jppepperdine.com/milestones
  30. “Yeh Ting Singapore”. Facebook. June 8, 2019. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.facebook.com/YehTingSG/
  31. Tiny Red Dot. Facebook. May 6, 2017. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.facebook.com/tinyreddot.sg/photos/a.283839842074382/283806865411013/?type=3&theater
  32. tiny.red.dot.sg. Instagram. July 9, 2017. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.instagram.com/p/BWUDAwNDEZj/
  33. “SHOP”. Tiny Red Dot. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: http://tinyreddot.com.sg/
  34. “Milestones”. JP Pepperdine Group. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://jppepperdine.com/milestones
  35. “[CLOSED] Slice & Dice (Causeway Point)”. burpple. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.burpple.com/slice-dice-causeway-point
  36. Don Mendoza. “New look for Jack’s Place”. Today. April 23, 2015. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.todayonline.com/lifestyle/food/new-look-jacks-place
  37. “[CLOSED] Jack's Cola Cafe”. burpple. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.burpple.com/jacks-cola-cafe
  38. “Milestones”. JP Pepperdine Group. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://jppepperdine.com/milestones
  39. “About Us”. Kkongdon barbeque. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.jppepperdine.com/kkongdon/about_us.html
  40. “Milestones”. JP Pepperdine Group. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://jppepperdine.com/milestones
  41. “Milestones”. JP Pepperdine Group. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://jppepperdine.com/milestones
  42. “Milestones”. JP Pepperdine Group. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://jppepperdine.com/milestones
  43. “(Closed) Brewbaker's Kitchen & Bar Reviews”. hungrygowhere. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.hungrygowhere.com/singapore/brewbaker_s_kitchen_bar/review/
  44. “Milestones”. JP Pepperdine Group. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://jppepperdine.com/milestones
  45. “A LA CARTE MENU”. Eatzi Gourmet bistro. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: http://eatzi.com.sg/alacarte-menu
  46. “LOCATIONS”. Eatzi Gourmet bistro. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: http://eatzi.com.sg/locations
  47. “Milestones”. JP Pepperdine Group. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://jppepperdine.com/milestones
  48. “(Closed) Seafood Harvest Restaurant (Bugis Junction) Reviews”. hungrygowhere. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.hungrygowhere.com/singapore/seafood_harvest_restaurant_bugis_junction/review/a3d60100/
  49. "About Us”. Eatzi Gourmet Bakery. Accessed on 19 June 2019. Retrieved from: https://eatzigourmet.com.sg/bakery/about-us/