It feels like ages ago now, but once upon a time, Chinatown was a bustling area teeming with tourists and locals alike. One particularly attention-grabbing attraction was Chinatown Food Street (CFS), where diners sit al fresco and dine on the street.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t been kind to the hawkers there since tourists have dried up.
The Straits Times (ST) reported that it closed its doors on Friday (22 Oct), 20 years after it first opened in 2001.
On Tuesday (26 Oct), ST reported that Chinatown Food Street, operated by Select Group, had closed for good.
It reportedly closed with just 2 stalls remaining, after the other stalls had closed earlier.
Select Group told ST that due to a lack of tourists or locals, tenants were not paying their rent and it could not continue operations.
Unfortunately, border closures and safe management measures throughout 2021 would eventually lead to CFS’s permanent closure.
From satay bee hoon to soupy bak chor mee and orh luak (oyster omelette), the hawkers at CFS had a variety of local cuisines for fans and tourists alike.
Dining on a street is definitely something of Singapore’s past since we moved hawkers into hawker centres, so it’s an experience one could only get at CFS here.
Currently, it’s unclear if the hawkers will find a new space to serve their wares.
MS News has reached out to Chinatown Food Street for comment.
Things come and go, and sadly CFS became another casualty of the pandemic, along with countless other F&B places here.
However, this does mean that there’s plenty of space for something new that can hopefully get the crowds back on the street — safely distanced, of course.
We’ll have to live with Covid-19 for the future, and businesses badly need restrictions to be less harsh or deterring for dine-ins.
Let’s hope that whatever comes next will benefit from an endemic Covid-19 world.
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Featured image courtesy of Chinatown Food Street.
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