Editor: If you have no time to read through the whole post, you should join the Facebook here first: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=101036602014 🙂

I discovered this gem while I was walking along CHIJMES sometime before Christmas about 2 years ago. I saw the manager putting up Christmas decorations on the glass doors of a newly opened Starbucks! Yes, that became what I affectionately call RC2 – RC for Raffles City, and 2… just to differentiate from the first outlet that’s located at the entrance of the City Hall MRT station. The term “RC2” has since been popularly known amongst all my friends, some of whom have totally no idea why it’s called as such, but to some of us, it’s more than just an acronym.

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You know what it is about RC2 that I like? It’s the feeling of home. Haha… Starbucks will probably not like this idea, but the place is really nice and cosy and makes people feel right at home. I remember the mugging days and my favourite Tazo Chai Tea Latte, 4 pumps Chai, less milk more foam. Well, it’s since changed to no milk and all foam, but yeah, they always get my order right. Well, almost always. 🙂

My hang-out days

Yeah. Those were the days! Tian Hong will hang out at RC2 whenever he is off school (or when he doesn’t have classes – officially or otherwise; just kidding) and Ridz will be there to do his work. In fact, both of them were there so often, they probably know every staff that had been there. There was this unique table with 2 lamps (pictures coming up soon) that had an entire power bar, where geeks like us will quickly snap up. Now, I will not mention how anti-social we were when *ahem* some of us *choppe* seats while the rest of us made our way down to RC2. Subsequently, there was a time it became a rather popular blogger hangout area (ok, just the few of us bloggers) that if we were to go down any time, we will spot someone familiar.

Card games days

Yeah, there was also a time when I was hooked onto card games and a few of us (not just bloggers), would gather at RC2 to play card games like Galaxy, the “castle-building game” and probably another one that I can’t remember. These are days that I don’t need a power point – basically meant that I didn’t have to blog, nor do any work. The games owner will get his cuppa coffee (and refills) and we’d play games until the store close – and no, we did not start playing from the time RC2 opened, it’s usually from 7 or 8pm onwards.

Celebrated my birthday

Yeah, I celebrated my birthday at RC2 last year. It was supposed to be a surprise celebration with Alice bringing in a surprise birthday cake… that was not lighted. Anyway, it was pretty memorable because the whole Jean gang came down! Woohoo! Yeah, even the not-so-regulars who hung out every now and then at RC2 came over as well. Following the mini party, we played games again! Haha… what a way to spend a birthday 😛

Mugging days

Yes, I mug too. In fact, I am a professional mugger 😛 There’s this girl who is really nice working at RC2; and I never really got her name, and I don’t see her there nowadays 🙁 I heard from her colleagues that she’s either Sharon or Kaiting, but I regretted not asking for her name when I saw her. Sigh. (Editor: Okie… seems like her name is Kaiting) I remembered there was once when I was having quite a bad cough and she handed me a pack of Strepsils! I think she’s really sweet and hope that I will be able to get in touch with her again.

Business and working days

Well, not really, but since the few of us are in the “business” of social media (blogging), we sometimes get together to talk about all things tech, scandals in the blogosphere, upcoming promotions and programmes, get-togethers and all. It’s a really nice environment because we have the choice of comfy chairs or the long meeting table that we plug our laptops in – 8 in all, to be precise, without using 3-way plugs. I think the environment, the people and the location could have also played a part of getting Miccheng and perhaps Bernand down as well. Oh well… no more common place for hanging out and working at the same time…

Watching Jeremy draw

Haha… yes, that’s this artist who used to be at Starbucks to do his drawings. I no longer see him there now and I wonder where he’s been to. I peeked at his artwork once in a while and I quite like it. I really never got to talk to him (although he seemed to talk to everyone else – am I that scary?!) and wonder where he’s been to. Those were the days where he will sit at the comfy sofa just next to the glass door and draw away. Through some sheer luck from my nemesis, I found out that his works are sold on here.

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Last days at RC2

It’s kinda sad that RC2 had to go. In fact, I only knew about it just barely 1 week before it was due to close. Well, I spent the next week’s evenings at RC2 – going down every evening after school and the remaining weekends there – not to mention the mini goodbye party that we had on the last Friday of the week. For the first time, I tried Cappuccino Cheesecake and I realise that I should just stick to the Lava cake or the puffs if I don’t want my lactose intolerance to act up on me.

I also spent the last few days taking photographs of the place, and with the staff who used to work there. I guess it’s going to be hard to find another place to match this place. Personally, I’d rather they close SB-RC (the one in front of the MRT station).. haha… but seriously, from a business point of view, it probably makes sense to keep SB-RC and close SB-R2 because RC faces the rush crowd and opening 24 hours next to McDonald’s mean that customers now have a choice between Starbucks Coffee and McCafe (personally, I have not tried McCafe but I don’t think I’d want to…).

So, what makes RC2 special?

Well, so what makes RC2 special… at least to me? I guess it’s the people. No, it’s definitely the people! And of course, the location and environment. A whole group of the RC2 staff will be moving over to Bugis, while about 7 will be at RC. RC is… well, different. It’s usually very packed (but that’s what gives it sustainable business); but because it’s so busy, there’s hardly any time for the barista and the customers to interact – short of just taking their orders and preparing the drinks. So – it becomes business – cold hard business. However, while it is important for businesses to establish relationships with a client/customer, I am not sure how it can apply to a coffee-chain like Starbucks, since the model seems to be one that targets take-away customers rather than dine-in customers.

So really, it’s probably the people at RC2 that makes it special – not to mention that they always remember my order of a tall Tazo Chai Tea Latte – 4 pump Chai, no milk all foam, Tazo Chai Tea Latte. Yeah, it used to be less milk, but since everyone’s definition of less is different, it’s probably good enough to have 1/2 cup water and all foam 🙂

So, after today, Kenneth and a couple of others will be heading to Bugis, while the rest will move on to RC, with a small number ending up at One Fullerton, Shaw Tower and this outlet at the end of Selegie (what is it called again?) As for regulars like myself, it’s either back to Cathay (but even most of the staff at Cathay are no longer there), Vivo (1 or 2) or maybe try out One Fullerton (but the parking is… $5! Ouch!). Either way, I think I will miss everyone there.

Goodbye Party – Were you there?

Yeah, this is probably one of the saddest party that I have attended this year. Most of the barista were there and we took lots and lots of photographs and exchanged lots and lots of hugs. It happened on 19th June 2009. Were you there?

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Petitioning against the closure of RC2?

Ok, in the age of technology, when all things are free, I’d think that getting “signatures” for a petition against the closure of RC2 is futile. It’s probably a business decision to close RC2 because of overheads and dipping businesses – and petitioning against the closure will only hurt everyone because there’s probably just not enough support for the business. A decent amount of money has probably been spent on the infrastructure and it is probably well considered before the decision to close RC2 is made.

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Keeping in touch

So, while there is really nothing much we can do about the closure, I am hoping that all staff, regulars and fans of Starbucks RC2 can join the Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=101036602014. I have taken some photographs on the last few days at Starbucks and hope that everyone can chip in a little to keep the memories of RC2 alive 🙂 (yeah, cynics will ask what the point of it is; but then again, they are not cynics for nothing). So, while RC2 is no longer there, I hope everyone can still keep in touch!

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And I thank all the wonderful barista that has made RC2 feel so much like home 🙂

Last day at RC2

08:20am

Argh! I am late! I am supposed to go over to RC2 for my morning breakfast at their last opening!

09:30am

Okie.. better late than never… 😛 Got myself a Tazo Chai and cold water 😛

10:00am

*snap snap snap* *snap snap snap* *snap snap snap* *snap snap snap* *snap snap snap* *snap snap snap* *snap snap snap*  Met some other regulars who only knew of RC2’s closure today. *snap snap snap* *snap snap snap* *snap snap snap* And she took the “last day” sign away 🙁

Met Angela as she came in – not to work, but to go through her studies.

10:20am

Okie, a little hungry. Got the peppery chicken puff. It actually tastes pretty good! 🙂 But the potato curry puff I got the last time can’t really make the mark. I still don’t know why Starbucks changed vendors for their food.

10:30am

*munch munch munch*

10:45am

Argh. Chicken shreds stuck between my teeth! (ok, that’s too much info)

13:30pm

Okie… space getting a little tight…

13:45pm

Large group of people came in. The place is starting to get noisier. But this is probably the last time that such a crowd can be seen at RC2.

15:20pm

Ok, I am hungry again and bought another Peppery Chicken Puff. Yum yum… 🙂 And finished it in 40 minutes. Heh.

17:45pm

The guy sitting next to me is actually from Duke-NUS!!! Okie, it’s a small world! And he is taking Dr Tan’s subjects!!! Hahaha… yeah, I know the tensions that he’s facing now…



Reader's Comments

  1. tianhong | July 4th, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    yeah… rc2 will always be a place to be remembered.

    well my rc2 seems like someone’s home. east coast big splash is actually a good location!

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