Owners of Circa Bar KL
In this interview, the owners of Circa Bar KL, Kesavan Purusotman (KC) and Roen Cian Nagapan, share some stories from behind the scenes.
What do you do and how did you get into the industry? (KC)
I primarily run a holdings company, Privilege Axel Hospitality & Management (PAHM), which holds equity and helps in the operation of numerous F&B projects including Circa Bar, SARO Lounge & Curbab On Wheels. At the same time, I manage a label and artist management company, Lion Music Group and organize concerts through my entertainment company KC And Friends.
I got into the business when I was approached as an ambassador for a student night at this nightclub called Euphoria by Ministry Of Sound. I was 18 at that time and remember getting 50 cents per head who I got through the door. It wasn’t very lucrative at that time but it started my journey into the entertainment and F&B industry.
Share with us an interesting story from behind the scenes (Roen)
When I first met KC I cold-called him to do some promoter work for me at The Pool, but when I met him I was surprised to meet an Indian dude ‘cos I always thought he was Chinese LOL.
What’s the best/ worst part of your job? (KC)
The best part is that I’m heavily involved in the creative field. I don’t necessarily work the typical 9-5 job and I get to work with creatives to implement the best ideas and products. The worst part is the hours. Sometimes I’m back home in the wee hours of the morning entertaining clients and I have don’t have a day off. I work even on Sundays as in my industry every day is a workday.
What’s a drink you think everyone must try at Circa? (Roen)
Captain Jack Sparrow. And on our new menu, the must-try is a cocktail called Netflix & Chill.
Share with us a memorable moment from behind the scenes? (KC)
One night I had the Black Eyed Peas at SARO Lounge one of my outlets in Pavilion Elite, KL. They just performed this corporate event I had them booked via my entertainment KC And Friends and I offered to host them after at SARO of course. Halfway through the night, I got a mic from my staff, told everyone Black Eyed Peas is in the house, queued my DJ to play Bebot (the infamous Philippine anthem) and handed the mic to Apl.De.Ap! He had no choice but to perform the song now, the tour manager wasn’t very happy of course but it’s these things you do and you hope will just work out when you see a grey area and are confident enough it will just happen organically. The group still had a great time and we still keep in touch.
The perfect day off would be… (Roen)
Work! I love to work. And wind down in the evening after an F45 class in the pool with my two daughters.
A day in the life of a bar owner is… (KC)
Drink till I drop? Kidding. So much goes on. My forte has always been marketing and promotions but I’ve been blessed to work with a bigger team who can carry out my vision these days so finance and backend are what I focus on now more than ever especially because I’m expanding at such a rapid pace. I rely heavily on my other directors to assist in operations so I can spend more time crunching numbers and making decisions at the group level.
What do you do for fun? (Roen)
I enjoy travel. It’s an activity my wife and I have been doing since we met.
What’s something you’d like guests to know about Circa? (KC)
It’s a great balance between the right amount of energy where you can have a party but also intimate and comfortable enough to have a quiet time with your loved one or a special friend.
What’s one of your most memorable food and beverage pairings? (Roen)
Yezi truffle mushroom soup and lightly oaked Chardonnay.
What’s your view on the bar scene in KL? (KC)
It’s competitive but isn’t it the same in any part of the world? You either stop complaining, be creative enough to win the market or quit and do something else.
What’s in store for you in the upcoming months? (Roen)
A new biz in F&B soon to be revealed.
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