Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Austin Chase bows out

Former best latte in town. I had my last latte at Austin Chase in Bangsar Shopping Centre last night. Took pictures with Aswad and his girls. The outlet has officially closed down for business and these guys will be out of job. The cafe had been my "office" since I left the NSTP early last year. It had wi-fi, excellent service, and the best latte in town.
Some said Austin was a "dying" franchise and that was why the BSC outlet had to go. Some said the business could not cope with the latest rent revision. I'm not sure what's the real reason.
Some journo friends are working on a story about the rise in rentals at malls, and some by as much as 25 per cent! If that's the case, the cost of doing business is going to inflate greatly overnight. As a result, a lot of small businesses are going to bow out and many will lose their jobs in the coming weeks.
Ever since the Abdullah's Administration sent fuel prices up, everyone is trying to pass the cost to someone else. Even Bernas tried that, remember? In the end, it's always the consumer who has to pay more. Yes, that's you and I.


  1. rocky,
    i feel so sad. that's been my place too, since i left NST last year.
    those kids are really nice.
    feel so sorry for them..hope they'll be ok..
    my guess is that BSC probably has a ready tenant who's willing to pay the hiked-up rental.
    they do that all the time --- these shopping complexes...

  2. Anonymous3:03 pm

    Yeap, looks like we have to blame Pak Lah for the current chronic economic malaise. Ever since he decided on the 30 per cent fuel hike sometime back, businesses have been passing the added operational costs to the general public. Sarawakians are no exception. Consumers in the State have to bear all sorts of malpractices by traders.

    I thing I still don't understand is why is it that despite the plunging oil prices, the government has not reviewed our oil prices. A downward review of the prices may or may not see businessmen adjusting their prices. Or will they? When there is a hike in fuel prices they are "quick on the draw". Prices of goods will shoot up correspondingly. But when prices of oil or oil=related products come down, the business people are very slow in bringing down their prices.

    So is MAS. Why is it that the airline is still imposing a fuel surchage?

  3. Hmmm... didn't know the the site (or near it, anyway) of the most infamous abduction in KL was also your hang out. What a shame, I was also partial to Austin Chase's latte. Mine used to be in Jln Perak at the Rohas Perkasa building. Is this is a local franchise? Singaporean maybe? Have they gone under, perhaps, with stiff competition from 'Bux and 'Beans?

    So it's "official" then, the "list" I mean... More DDOS attacks in the offing?

  4. Anonymous3:35 pm

    raising the petroleum prices to reduce the subsidy is inevitable although the country is still a net exporter of oil. its just simple economics. the country just cant afford the large subsidy anymore. It has to spent large sums for development expenditure to prop up the economy without which it will be daydream to even achieve the current growth of 5% to 6% which is anaemic for a supposed fast growing developing economy. Sadly, a large part of the so called development expenditure is alos now increasingly used to build marginal assets which brings less economic returns. And of course, the cronies have a field day reaping with the leakages along the way.
    The country could have achieved so much more with all the natural resources if not for the uncompetitive and marginalisation policies espoused by the ruling regime. and of course, the condoning of the raping of the country's resources by the powers to be.

  5. Anonymous4:05 pm

    this abdullah badawi ha.. haiya do no what to la... really make me sakit kepala la

  6. Anonymous5:47 pm

    So, it's see you Latte, then?

    Ne'er mind, Austin Powers may come later!

  7. its a tough world out there
    its even tougher business world in malaysia! goodbye Austin Power of the world... looks like your mojo is squashed by Abdullah! hahahaha

  8. Kita terkejut bila harga barang dan perkhidmatan naik satu demi satu sebaik harga petrol dilonjak mendadak. Selepas beberapa ketika, kita buat penyesuaian, lalu kita terus hidup dengan mengecilkan keperluan. Survival dalam dunia ini memaksa kita berbuat demikian.

    Saya setuju dengan saudara rocky, akhirnya semua dilambak ke pengguna. Peniaga buat adjustment dengan harga. Pengguna buat adjustment dengan cara berbelanja dan gaya hidup. Ikan tetap ikan, dulu kerap ikan tenggiri, kini kerap ikan "curut"(utara) atau "basung" (sabah) atau "ikan sadin" (orang kosmopolitan).

    Orang Johor pulak kena biasa dengan harga singapura. Sikit masa lagi, insyaAllah, jika panjang umur, jika orang Johor terus mengizinkan, dan jika pelabur betul-betul terpikat dengan Iskandar, orang Johor dipaksa berbelanja macam orang Singapura dengan nilai wang Singapura!!

    Bukan merungut sdr Rocky....

  9. A pity. If at all i needed a coffee in BSC I'd hit the Chase instead of it's larger neighbour. The service was better. Anyway I have the same thoughts about the plight of smaller retailers and escalating costs earlier this year at

  10. Anonymous7:51 pm

    Everywhere you go you see prices going uo.

    At medan seleras you see a plate of mee or rice creep up from RM3.00 to 3.30, then 3.50 now 3.80. And my roti canai is slightly smaller? All done quietly when the enforcement officers lost their enthusiasm to keep up their checks, as usual.

    But the government says the price increases had "no effect or impact". And inflation is "low". Really? How come my pockets are lighter? And I constantly have to try harder to make ends meet?

    And during my visits to food courts in Singapore, I noticed that food and drink prices have been unchanged for many years. Not 1 cent increase. And the portions remain the same too.

    Why can they 'boleh' and we can't?

  11. Try to look at other 'incidental' rise in prices and costs too. For example, everyone must have noticed how the parking cost at KLCC, Berjaya Times Sq and OneUtama have gone up like nobody's business? I for one believe that KLCC is getting away with murder charging people that much. But no one bothers to complain about this I supposed.

    Touch N Go got the monopoly for tolls, and now if you reload at petronas, they'll charge you 50 cents.

    Malaysia Boleh? Boleh belah laa kut..

  12. Why can they 'boleh' and we can't?

    cause they have capable and qualified leaders as politicians...
    we have monkeys!

  13. The government ministers say
    There shouldn’t be prices increase
    The major newspapers reported
    The man on the street suffers
    Pockets full of holes already

    Don’t these ministers go shopping?
    Eating in the warongs?
    Mixing with people
    Or have they forgotten the voters?

    I say the government is really sleeping
    When oil prices go down
    There is no downward price adjustment
    Everything is as usual
    Saying it is still low comparing to other countries

    Toll hikes and electricity tariffs
    The people feel empty
    The pockets full of miseries
    How to budget?

    Because a minister called us ‘goblok’
    We don’t know the shrinking money
    The value of our disposal income
    It has dwindled downwards

    Jobs keep disappearing
    The population increases
    And the illegal immigrants keep coming
    Searching the pot of gold

    Who’s to blame?
    When crimes increase in the country
    It means something is really wrong
    Amongst the people
    No money to buy essentials

    Super mega projects
    Cost of goods hike
    So in the end
    People have no money
    To turn the cycle
    The country bleeds

    And the ministers say
    No price increases
    We are ‘goblok’
    We don’t know about money

  14. Anonymous9:54 pm

    i used to patronise Austin Chase at the Bangsar Telawi branch, use to spend 8 hours there every day, love their sandwich and latte too.
    btw i think Austin Chase is part of Sapura company.

  15. Try OldTown Kopitiam instead. It's cheaper and nicer..and with the savings you could once again get yourself another bike or a better looking four wheeler.

    -The Man Who Sold The World-

  16. Anonymous1:57 am

    Hey, hey ,hey Rock,

    Watcha! D man who sold d world is now tryin 2 flog u a 4X.

    Here's lookin @ u, gal!

    Gud luk!

  17. Gosh, Rocky.

    Save and get a better looking four wheeler.....

    That has got to hurt, bro.

    So what's next? A glossy Humvee?

    Cheers, TMWSTW.

  18. Aisay .... I am sadddd ... sob sob

    Where can I feast my eyes to lovely chic ladies for the cost of just a coffee latte?... sob sob

    Where can I see famous people and sexy celebrities for just a muffin and orang juice breakfat? ... sob sob

    With rental up, parking will be up. The bad state of inflation these days ... even oggling will cost money.

    Will these lovely chic ladies, famous personalities, and sexy celebrities care to just hang out at BSC's McDonald?

  19. Anonymous4:28 am

    I don't understand someone telling me to "ubah gaya hidup" when my ways of living doesnt have any "gaya" to begin with.

    Gradually, this country will find itself in the likes of Indonesia, bangladesh, and 3/4 of Africa where theres an enormous gap of dispairity between the rich and the poor.

    You don't have to be a psychic to predict the next 5 years, when the price of petrol increses by the year. Chaos.

  20. Anonymous9:17 am

    with oil prices heading north,continued subsidies would only bleed the country's coffers dry. what is at the crux of the problem is energy inefficiency and overconsumption.

    to Anonymous 7:51 PM

    lol which foodcourt in singapore didnt increase their prices, esp aft the recent GST hike? lemme know so i can go there okay?

  21. Anonymous9:51 am

    Peminatbola, parking charges at oneutama tak dinaikkan lagi kot.

  22. Rocky!

    It is called free enterprise and free market system, if you can do it do, if you can't do something else at a cheaper rental somewhere, but La Bodega will do well with its fantastic management style and how it has survived as outlets!

  23. eh gua main main hard feelings yer rocky :P

    -The Man Who Sold The World-

  24. guys the daily living cost is so huge that PETROL STATIONS have to close early! wow! 50years we are going in reverse gear....

  25. Anonymous5:33 pm

    Molten Cake, parking

    OneUtama naikla...dulu parking sampai muntah pun RM1 je...nowadays dah start by the hour. Midvalley pun macam tu.

  26. polly, a better looking 4x4? i am praying that pak lah does not introduce another round of fuel price hike. i would have to sell off my car if he does that.

    but then, perhaps he should. with another RM4.4 billion savings, the public transportation will be so efficient and so pleasant that we all don't need to drive!

    you know what i mean.

    and pasquale,

    free enterprise my foot!!

  27. Anonymous8:15 pm

    Lets have free enterprise, Pasquale!

    No to rent control districts.
    No to low cost housing.
    No to price control on basic food prices.
    No to control of air space - every goddamn airline can set up shot and enter.
    No to oil price setting - let market determine.
    No to affirmative action, scholarship for the poor's education, welfare department, etc.
    No hearing of calls of moron from pasquale. Live with this shit, where the have-capital dominate.

  28. Sad to hear another brew-joint have to bite the dust. Worst is the unemployment of those kids. Their burden will be doubled since Bedol Napoleon and co has been busy making Bolehland a country ridden with junk bonds and debt for years to come. Southern Corridor, Northern Corridor and soon Atas-Bawah Verandah(running of land to sell-out).

  29. i used to work at BSC austin chase 2 years ago, after spm. Though I only worked there for 2 1/2 months, it was really an experience for me. Aswad is really the best manager i've ever met. As for the supervisor (which i won't name here), is... well.. i have my ups and downs with her...

    i went there about a month ago. Aswad told me they're closing down because since bsc is expanding the building (just like one utama and sunway pyramid are doing), bsc have to terminate their contract and if austin chase wants to continue, they'll have to make a new contract. But i guess they did not decide to do so.

    my fren, who personnally knows the owner of austin chase (aka anak Tan Sri Shamsuddin of sapura holdings), said that probably because sapura has just recently get hold of Sapura Crest (an estimated RM2billion project), they kinda like 'lepas tangan' austin chase laah, so to speak.

    for all i know, it's possible it could have been both reasons....

  30. Ooh rocky ...
    I feel sad too over the demise of Austin Chase.! I miss most it's croque monsieur. Is it all of austin's franchise closing down or juz this one in BSC??