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Mixed results at other food centres

BETTER: The new food centre at 208B, New Upper Changi Road. - TNP PHOTO: LEE JOON LEI

It is the first week back in business for stallholders who moved from 207, New Upper Changi Road, to their new premises at Block 208B.

They told The New Paper that they are pleased with the new premises, with most considering it an improvement from the previous building.

Madam Tan, 54, who works at a drinks stall, said: "The building is new, so it is cleaner and more spacious."

Business has also improved.

Mrs Suria, a 44-year-old Malay food stall worker, said the new location is more accessible. "There have been more people since we reopened as the building is nearer to a bus stop."

Retiree Ronald Lee, 64, said: "The old building was dim and congested, but this new one is bright and spacious. It is a better environment overall."

BUSINESS DOWN

However, stallholders at the Ayer Rajah Food Centre at Block 503, West Coast Drive, are lamenting a drop in business.

The food centre was closed for repair and repainting from June 1 to July 13.

Duck rice stall worker Ah Soon said that business had dropped by almost 50 per cent. The 54-year-old said in Mandarin: "I've been working here for about 14 years and this is the worst business the shop has experienced."

The food centre used to be packed on weekends, but now, there are often empty tables, he added.

A Muslim food stall owner, Madam Ayu, 38, was also hoping for better business after the renovation. But she has been disappointed. She said: "It's much quieter than before."

Mr Timothy Koh, 34, a food and beverage company coordinator who patronises the centre twice a week, said: "It's much cleaner, so I find it more comfortable to eat here after the renovation.

"Ultimately, it's the food that draws customers, so the stallholders need not worry about bad business as regulars will keep coming back."