The founders of Botak Jones have opened a second Big Bern's American Grill outlet in Singapore as the country is cautiously reopening its borders.
Located at Makansutra Gluttons Bay, this foray into expansion during a pandemic is surprising, but has added variety to the food offerings at the famed outdoor eatery next to Esplanade that traditionally has a tourist-heavy clientele.
Big Bern's American Grill sells American comfort food, which includes hearty burgers, fish & chips, Cajun Chicken, Louisiana Chicken Gumbo, and the good old steak and fries.
Teasing Big Bern's arrival
Makansutra Gluttons Bay had been teasing the arrival of Big Bern's American Grill for a few weeks.Big Bern's founders are husband-and-wife duo, Bernie Utchenik, 68, and Faudziah Mohd Ali, 58.
Utchenik is an American-turned-Singaporean entrepreneur who has been dabbling in the F&B business here for more than a decade.
Faudziah shared about the new stall at Gluttons Bay in the Halal Cafe & Restaurants in Singapore Facebook page.
The outlets' Muslim-owned status has been cheered.
Utchenik opened Botak Jones in Tuas in 2003 and became a major stakeholder.
Botak Jones had 13 outlets at its prime, but Utchenik opted out of the partnership with the other stakeholders due to undisclosed reasons.
But he didn't quit Botak Jones completely.
Buying over a single Balestier Road Botak Jones stall, Utchenik set up BJ's American Diner and Grill in 2011 with his wife.
BJ's American Diner and Grill was later renamed Big Bern's, which was the first incarnation of this current business.
However, unable to turn profit, they closed their Big Bern's stall in June 2011.
In October 2014, Big Bern's reopened at the Mapletree Industrial Estate food court at Toa Payoh North.
It later also closed down but another outlet opened at Timbre+ in April 2016 and has been there since.
Makansutra Gluttons Bay
8 Raffles Avenue, #01-15E
Tuesday to Friday: 4pm to 10pm
Saturday: 1pm to 10pm
Sunday: 1pm to 10pm
73A Ayer Rajah Crescent #01-35
Monday: 11:30am to 3pm
Tuesday to Friday 11:30pm to 3pm & 4:30pm to 9:30pm
Saturday: 4pm to 9:30pm