Struggling Chinatown Food Street to close till June 1
Chinatown Food Street, a popular tourist spot known for local roadside fare, will close from tomorrow, its management said in a post on its website yesterday.
There will be upgrading works in the area and business will resume on June 1.
Business at the once-bustling destination on Smith Street has taken a significant hit with the sharp fall in tourist numbers since travel restrictions were imposed amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
In an interview with Chinese language evening paper Shin Min Daily News, Mr Vincent Tan, the managing director of Select Group, which operates Chinatown Food Street, said that aside from renovation and refurbishment works to the 20 stalls at the location, stall holders and their workers will be sent for training or reassigned to other restaurants.
Mr Tan, who is also the president of the Restaurant Association of Singapore, told Shin Min that rent for the stalls during the closure will be waived.
Efforts to boost visitor numbers seem to have had little success.
Three weeks ago, Chinatown Food Street launched a four-deal promotion that included one-for-one offers on selected food items and up to 50 per cent off at some stalls.
The promotion ends today.
Two weekends ago, there were also free trishaw rides, traditional coffee workshops and health talks on offer in a bid to draw crowds back.
But the area has seen little activity and shops along the pedestrianised Smith, Pagoda and Trengganu Streets are struggling to stay afloat.
Recently, some street vendors and retailers told The Straits Times that sales had plunged by about 80 per cent.
Now, only a handful of shophouse restaurants flanking the street remain open.
Even the well-known Fatty Weng Restaurant has not been spared.
A notice on its shopfront said it would be permanently closed from March 16.
"We thank all patrons for your support over the years," it read.
The notice directed patrons to its other outlet at Bukit Batok Avenue 4.