New Straits Quay

straits quay E & O development penangNew Straits Quay (SQ) Shopping/Entertainment Mall is currently in its soft opening phase with many restaurants and bars already enjoying customers (and the other way around!).

Straits Quay is a neo-colonial building with what I believe to be an ideal location. It reminds us of a similar Mall in Singapore (the name of which escapes me but it is the one where you get the cable ride to Sentosa Island) with its seafront location and up-market retailers and Food & Beverage outlets.

According to the E & O Group: - 

"The E & O Group's core business, apart from hospitality and lifestyle, is in property development and property investment. On Penang, E & O's masterplanned seafront development Seri Tanjung Pinang is one of the most sought after residential addresses among locals and expatriates, especially with its latest launch, the Quayside Seafront Resort Condominiums, the first condominium in the region with a 4.5 acre private waterpark.

Straits Quay is the retail jewel in Seri Tanjung Pinang, the newest, must-visit destination with 12.4 acres of retail excitement and a breathtaking view of the Andaman Sea."

For a yet-to-completely-open site we were extremely impressed with our first visit there last night. We went there looking for Finnegan's Irish pub and found it in all its splendour. A Merry Guinness was had by all and a pleasant evening was enjoyed from this one month open pub. I still find it hard to understand why there are so few pubs offering live music as this is a universal favorite and with Christmas/New Year season upon us I thought I would have seen much more. SOHO pub in town is a much more established pub with live music early in the evening we visited last week and the food was much cheaper too but this is very, very early days and it will be interesting to see how Finnegan's develops.

merry guinness finnegans bar straits quay

Straits Quay offered plenty of strolling entertainment from jesters, clowns, stilt-walkers and imps and fairies kept the kids entertained and then the musical show 'Alison in Candyland' is still playing until the 26th December.

For New Years Eve they are throwing a countdown party which they say promises to be THE party on the island!! Heratpumpin action from 6pm with light shows, street performers, the High Society Band, magical fire dance and LED Poi Maori traditional dance performed to the rhythms of the Didgeridoo and the rhythmic happy KL Stompers.

Join DJ Joey G as he spins the latest hits to pump the adrenalin up leading to the countdown itself. Welcome 2011 in with a bang as the night skies light up with fireworks and pyro splendour!

For a full rundown on the New Year Celebrations visit our What's On Now page.

I will try and gain an interview with the management of Straits Quay or E & O to get an insight into the entire development but from what I have seen so far it is very impressive. I only wonder if they can get the crowds there and then keep them there as many Malls have opened and dwindled. They certainly have more to offer than the competition with market position and location and I thoroughly recommend you visit soon in pre-opening mode as well as keep coming back for the Grand opening I believe in February, 2011.

Watch this space for a full article on Straits Quay - coming soon!!

new year celebration at straits quay

Press Release from E & O in October, 2010

Kuala Lumpur, 20 October 2010 -- Eastern & Oriental Berhad (E&O) has scored another first at its soon-to-be-opened Straits Quay retail marina – Penang’s first Performing Arts Centre will open its doors there in 2011, giving Penangites the opportunity to enjoy a whole variety performing arts activities ranging from dance, theatre and music right through to art, photography and other artistic shows.

Like the successful The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac) in Kuala Lumpur, the Performing Arts Centre at Straits Quay will be managed by The Actors Studio (TAS), helmed by renowned performing arts couple Joe Hasham and Dato’ Faridah Merican.
This was announced today at a signing ceremony between E&O and TAS, witnessed by Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng, and follows an announcement in August this year that Straits Quay will be home to Malaysia’s second Royal Selangor Visitor Centre, after the flagship centre at the Royal Selangor headquarters in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur.
In making the announcement, E&O managing director Dato’ Terry Tham said, “At E&O, we believe in creating distinctive lifestyle experiences. Seri Tanjung Pinang, with its unique architecture and lifestyle by the sea is one such experience, as is Straits Quay, a festival retail marina like no other in Penang.  It is only fitting to have the Straits Quay experience anchored by something as unique and experiential as a Performing Arts Centre.
 “Faridah and Joe, and their team at The Actors Studio, have done a wonderful job of creating a living, working performing arts community in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, and we firmly believe that they will do the same for Penang.  We are delighted to make it happen as part of E&O’s corporate contribution to the people of Penang. The island is rich in culture and heritage, and Penangites deserve a venue where these talents can be fittingly nurtured and showcased.”
The total investment cost to kick-start the setting up of the Performing Arts Centre is estimated at RM7.5 million. Of this, RM7.0 million will be funded by the E&O and the balance RM0.5 million by The Actors Studio. 
Speaking at the event, TAS’ co-founder Dato’ Faridah Merican said, “This is our dream come true. It has always been one of my lifelong wishes to have a space like this in my hometown. Penang has always been at the forefront of the performing arts scene and with this spanking new arts centre, we can take it to a whole new level. We look forward to collaborating with all the wonderful artistes here. Our doors are always open.”
Describing the centre, Joe Hasham said the 22,000 sq ft centre would feature two theatres – a proscenium theatre that would seat 304, as well as an experimental theatre that would seat 150.  Located on the 4th floor of Straits Quay, the centre would also feature a number of studios to be used for classes, rehearsals and practices, as well as a foyer, ticketing office and back-of-stage facilities.
He said the space would allow TAS to bring in international acts, as well as cultivate a calendar of locally-produced events, in addition to nurturing amongst Penangites a love for, and knowledge of, the rich world of performing arts.
Following the signing ceremony between E&O and TAS, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng went on a tour of Straits Quay, which will be opening its doors end-November.
Straits Quay, Penang’s first retail marina enclave, is a 12-acre festival retail centre and commercial development within Seri Tanjung Pinang, both developed by Eastern & Oriental Berhad. It is expected to be a welcome tourist attraction to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town, Penang, and will be a partner attraction to E&O’s two other signature properties on the island – the 125 year old E&O Hotel at Lebuh Farquhar, and the renowned Lone Pine Hotel at Batu Feringghi, which is set to re-open in November after undergoing extensive refurbishment.
In addition to being home to Penang’s 1st Performing Arts Centre and the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre, Straits Quay will also feature a comprehensive mix of outlets and attractions; from boutiques to bistros, seafood restaurants to seaside cafes, bars to boat rides, as well as a promenade, a performing arts centre and a learning centre. The 270,000 sq ft centre will house approximately 100 tenants, and will open for business end-November 2010.