Dear Merdekaryans,

It’s becoming increasingly clear that our
stage will not host live gigs for some
time; by our estimation, 6 months if
we’re being stupidly optimistic, a year
to 18 months if we’re being more
realistic. We refuse to entertain a
pessimistic estimate.

Like many similar venues, we’ve had to pay
our rent and bills since the MCO with no income coming in. We’ve held off on doing a fundraiser all
this while, mainly because we didn’t want to ask people to donate (several people very kindly have anyway) and then, if we shut down anyway, all that goodwill would have been for nothing. Fundraisers can help pay the rent, but for how long? 18 months? Do we keep doing one again and again every three months?

We needed a more longer-term solution. One that would keep us self-sustainable and especially, one that would not require us to let go of any of our staff, all five of whom are currently unsalaried but have agreed to sink or swim with us anyway.

And we think we’ve found that solution. As many of you know, The Diner Bar has been converted into another bar altogether. It’s early days yet, but response has exceeded expectations. While The Live Bar will likely remain closed, we also plan to convert the balcony into a Coffee Bar.

We’ve done the math, and if we repurpose these two spaces and open both day and night, with at least 30 dine-ins per day, we will be able to cover our costs and stay afloat until the music returns.

But in order to do this, we need to invest in commercial kitchen equipment, to build a separate non-halal kitchen downstairs and to do-up the balcony which is currently being used to house the aircon compressors.

To raise enough money to do this, we need to sell tuak. Lots of it. 999 to be precise. So we’re asking you to please buy a bottle or ten (the price of one bottle is RM65). If we sell 999 by May 31, we’ll be able to start work the following week and we can be ready for limited distance-dining (and drinking!) by the second week of June. If you don't wish to buy any tuak, you can also donate whatever you can afford (any amount helps).

Merdekarya started 7 years ago in 2013, with stacked-up egg crates as stools, tikars, one barely-working aircon and a roof that flooded the place all the damn time. Our menu was Mamee packets and canned drinks.

We built this city. Us, the performers, the diners, the drinkers. Help us keep it.


The stage will be back.

Let’s drink to that.



                Didn't hit the bottle target,                    but the tips and donations                     more than made up for it!               Thank you so much to             
          everyone who helped make this happen!

Renovations are already under way, and we hope to make some announcements very soon on our plans for the immediate and long-term future.

Looking at our trial-run feedback so far, we're confident we'll be able to weather this until the stage lights up again.

We also want to thank out tuak-maker, who wishes to remain belakang tabir. We met several years ago at a Malaysia Day event where he had a tuak booth, and as a local grassroots music venue, we're always on the lookout for other grassroots setups to partner with. So far it's been a very fruitful partnership.

When we're asked about our tuak, we try to be as respectful as we can towards its origins and culture.

We're not sure if it's our place to give thanks to the harvest, but we're thankful for it nonetheless.

So, a bit belated, but Selamat Hari Gawai & Hari Kaamatan!

Drop by for a meal or a drink soon.

If not, we'll see you when the pause turns to play.