Celeste Chong on Clubbing

Celeste Chong, Co-founder/Marketing Director, The Butter Factory

 

When Celeste first booked three Asian American rappers for a club she worked at in the early 2000s, she got inspired. After a couple of drinks with a good friend, a business plan and a few weeks later, The Butter Factory was born.

Oh yeah, and those 3 Asian American rappers that Celeste booked? They were the guys from Far East Movement. And yes, she’s friends with them.

 

So just out of curiosity…why the name ‘The Butter Factory’?

I’ve always liked the word ‘Butter’ which also means ‘well liked’ & ‘smooth’, but when I explain it, it just sounds somewhat cheesy.

‘Factory’ came from Bobby (Co-founder and Creative Director of The Butter Factory), who is a huge Andy Warhol fan and was inspired by his studio which was called “The Factory”. The name largely came about because we didn’t want a typical club name.

 

What’s the best part about your job?

Not having a single case of Monday Blues and meeting interesting people who are passionate about music, or things that you don’t find most Singaporeans interested in. There’s so much pressure to be a lawyer, doctor or banker here.

And the worst?

Work and play is all mixed up, so I don’t have that much of a life outside of work. And sometimes the hours are crazy, but then I always take a small step back and look at what I’m doing and it becomes worth it. A typical day is usually at least 10-12 hours of work.

Any advice for clubbing virgins?

Go clubbing with at least one reliable friend that is not going to ditch you while you’re puking or passed out alone in the toilet. This is especially so for girls! We’ve encountered cases where this has happened.

Most annoying thing a clubber can do?

Be rude and make demands, claiming to know the bosses and threatening to get staff fired when their demands are not met with.

That and being completely unaware of one’s terrible B.O whilst dancing vigorously on the dance floor. I can’t decide which is worse.

Any tips on how to get your cover charge waived?

Make an effort to dress up. At The Butter Factory, we love it when people make an effort to stand out and get creative with what they wear. Nothing is ever “too much”, as Bobby would say.

So I’m sure most people are wondering this – just how do you become a VIP member?

Our VIP membership cards are given out by the directors, and our management staff do send in recommendations from time to time. We started selling our membership cards about 3 years back. They are $2500 each and comes with four bottles of hard liquor.

Do super hot people get perks like cutting the queue, free drinks etc?

Well… yes. Super hot people get super hot people perks.

Speaking of hot people…we hear Kpop star T.O.P from Big Bang hung out at The Butter Factory when he was in Singapore last year. Have you ever had any other celebs visit? (And did you get to meet T.O.P?!)

Yes you heard right, T.O.P was at Butter Factory one night. I did get to meet him and he’s as good looking and tall in person!

Other celebs who’ve visited include Baz Lurhmann (Director of Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rogue), American rapper Flo Rida, American basketball player Kobe Bryant, Chinese actress and singer Vicki Zhao Wei and most recently, one of the guys from South Korean boyband Shinwa.

What will get you denied you entry into the club?

If you come in slippers and berms, if you’re aggressive and rude at the door and of course if you don’t make the age limit.

What will get you thrown out of the club?

Most of the time when people get booted out, it’s for fighting and being aggressive or violent because you’re a threat to the other clubbers and staff around you.

What will get you banned for life? Are there people on this list?

Again, you get on this list if you’re overly aggressive or violent. As long as you threaten the safety of the people in the premise, we don’t want you in the club.

How many glasses on average get broken a night?

Too many.

Drink name that gets mispronounced the most?

“Vo-kah”

Best drink to order if you hate the taste of alcohol?

The Butter Factory Iced Tea, which is our house cocktail that tastes deceivingly good but packs a punch.  Or Bottega, which is a sparkling red wine that tastes like fizzy Ribena. It’s addictive!

Best drink to order if you want to get drunk fast?

Three shots of Bacardi 151 will do the trick.

Just out of curiosity – why is it that clubs rarely ever publicly post how much a person needs to spend in order to book a table?

Good question!

And finally – what’s the best night to head down to Butter Factory?

The weekends (Friday & Saturday) cater to a slightly older crowd (mid 20s-early 30s); Wednesday is ladies’ night, so the crowd is younger (18-21). Thursday is K-pop night, so we attract a mix of everyone who loves K-pop music. It really depends on your taste, but regardless of what event is going on at The Butter Factory, you know it’ll be fun.

The Butter Factory will be opening in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia soon, so stay tuned to their Facebook page for updates.