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Photograph: Unsplash/Lily Banse

Popular attraction Chinatown Food Street closes after 20 years

Another victim of the pandemic

Delfina Utomo
Written by
Delfina Utomo
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The F&B industry has taken some major hits in these tough times and another recent victim of the pandemic is the popular tourist attraction, Chinatown Food Street. The place is a unique food court in Smith Street with several stalls and shophouse restaurants which showcased the best of local cuisine. 

It was opened in 2001 and part of the Singapore Tourism Board's plan to spruce up Chinatown. Some of the vendors you could find there included Famous Eunos Bak Chor Mee, Tiong Bahru Meng Kee Roast Duck, King of Fried Rice, Siam Square Mookata, Chong Pang Huat BBQ Chicken Wings, Boon Tat Street Barbeque Seafood and more. Most of these stalls are heritage hawkers and have been around for years. 

The attraction drew crowds in the beginning because of its high foot traffic but with so much good food in the area, it lost the initial excitement. Chinatown Food Street was closed for a major facelift in which included shelter to allow all-weather dining and reopened in 2014. The food court also enjoyed publicity in recent years with The 50 Cents Festival, a nostalgia-themed hawker food festival where everything is priced from $0.50, the most expensive dish being $3. 

Select Group, who operated the venue, confirmed that the lack of tourism and crowds in the area and financial issues had led to the ultimate decision to cease operations.

As the F&B industry continues to take hit after hit, we can only hope the situation improves from the currently limited dining arrangements. Do continue to support local businesses and F&B! 

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