Some of stalls moved to Lavender Food Hub
Hawkers must serve as the fundamental of our society if eating is our national pastime. Naturally, Singaporeans are proud of their renowned chefs. With the closure of hawker establishments, many have lamented the passing of a historic era and the validity of their favourite dishes.
Lavender Food Square, a widely loved food centre, has announced that on September 30th, 2014, she will be closing her doors for the final time. Arc 380, a 16-storey freehold building to be completed by 2018, will replace Lavender Food Square and Eminent Plaza.
The food centre, which was built in the 1980s and originally known as Bugis Square, was formerly home to several street vendors from neighbouring areas who had been displaced from their old locations – such as Albert Street, Bugis Street, and Long House. The Namib Market, which was next to Bugis Mosque, closed in 1990 due to drainage issues. Food residue would flow into drains when it rained, polluting the drainage system. It reopened in 1992 as the Lavender Food Square after having been renamed.
It’s clear to me that this region, which I have called home for over 20 years, has yet to be restored. The Lavender Food Square is a common sight and a landmark closely associated with her name. She has withstood the test of rebuilding for the past three decades as her neighbourhood has rapidly changed. The old has given way to the new, with businesses such as hotels and contemporary food and beverage establishments coming online. The impending closure of this Long House eatery evokes memories of the old Jalan Besar Stadium’s original food center, which relocated out in 2000.
Visitors from all over the world come to Lavender Food Square to see the famous stands, but its distinctiveness is in its customers’ diversity. The open-air food center is a popular gathering spot for office workers during lunch hour, as well as football fans from the nearby Jalan Besar Stadium, hotels and backpacker hostels, and families having supper.
Lavender Food Square’s advantageous site at the entrance to Jalan Besar, a major thoroughfare into town and a focal point of nighttime entertainment, is particularly vivid when the sunsets. Lavender Food Square, which is situated near a slew of karaoke lounges, pubs, and budget lodgings, is certainly vibrant.
Many stallholders have already relocated, with several more set to relocate in the following month. Hawks are frequently described as being tenacious. The government’s efforts to eliminate roadside stalls and pushcarts from the streets have failed to stop second-and third-generation hawkers from flourishing in purpose-built hawker centres. They’ve also managed to overcome difficulties such as urban renewal, a labour shortage, and increasing rental costs.
The current monthly rent for a stall is between $4,000 and $6,000. The absence of a spacious cooking area, as well as the 800-person capacity at Lavender Food Square, will be tough to find in their new homes.
Some of the stall owners are now operating in other regions of Lavender, continuing a long-standing tradition. Some former Long House members will attend the recently restored Balestier Market. These vendors will survive, given their demonstrated flexibility and resilience. However, Lavender Food Square will be difficult to match with another culinary destination as distinctive and colourful.
New Locations of Lavender Food Square Stalls:
- Ah Long Pancake: Lavender Food Hub, Hoa Nam Building.
- Bugis Street Char Kway Teow: Broadway Coffee Shop, 100 Tyrwhitt Road.
- Carrot Cake: Sing Sin Huat Kopitiam, 52 Foch Road.
- Chicken Rice: Lavender Food Hub, Hoa Nam Building.
- Chong Pang Huat BBQ Chicken Wings: Lavender Food Hub, Hoa Nam Building.
- Eminent Frog Porridge: Lavender Food Hub, Hoa Nam Building.
- Guan Lee Sen Seafood: Tian Xiang Can Shi Coffeeshop, Blk 803 King George’s Avenue.
- Kin Turtle Soup: Sin Huat Coffee Shop, Geylang Lorong 35.
- Kok Kee Wanton Noodle: Lavender Food Hub, Hoa Nam Building.
- Macpherson Barbeque Seafood: Balestier Market, 414 Balestier Road.
- Miow Sin Popiah: Balestier Market, 414 Balestier Road.
- Poly Western: Tian Xiang Can Shi Coffeeshop, Blk 803 King George’s Avenue.
- Somboon Thai Food: Coffeeshop at Bedok.
- Teochew Fish Soup: Lavender Food Hub, Hoa Nam Building.