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When the COVID-19 pandemic led to the closure of 28-year-old Xander Lee’s (left in pic) car rental business last April, he rang up his childhood friend of 14 years, Lipsen Chow, and floated the idea of opening a hawker stall selling Taiwanese food. Then bar supervisor at a beer bar in Clarke Quay, the 27-year-old wasn’t getting as many shifts as he used to during Phase 2 of the circuit breaker, leading to a lower monthly salary.

“I had a BTO (built-to-order flat) to pay for, and other commitments,” says Lipsen. “I needed something more stable.” As such, the millennial - whose resume includes six years in F&B, mainly in the nightlife biz, as well as a year running his own satay stall in Jurong West - leapt at his friend’s proposal. The stall, which opened in January this year, was quirkily christened Moustache Lee — a nickname Xander earned during the Circuit Breaker when he stopped shaving (he’s since shaved his ’stache off). “Just so you know, my moustache was never this long,” he says with a laugh, nodding at the stall's mascot. And no, he doesn’t plan to grow his facial hair out again.

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