Golden Shoe food stalls to move to interim hawker centre

Most of the food stalls at Golden Shoe Food Centre, which will close on July 31 after 33 years of business, will move to a nearby temporary centre in Cross Street, while the building undergoes redevelopment.
Most of the food stalls at Golden Shoe Food Centre, which will close on July 31 after 33 years of business, will move to a nearby temporary centre in Cross Street, while the building undergoes redevelopment.BERITA HARIAN FILE PHOTO

The Golden Shoe Food Centre, a Central Business District (CBD) institution, will be closing on July 31 after 33 years of business.

The good news is that most of the food choices will still be available at a nearby temporary hawker centre in Cross Street, beside Telok Ayer MRT station.

It will open on Aug 1, the day after Golden Shoe Food Centre closes.

There are plans for the 1984 building to be redeveloped by CapitaLand Commercial Trust (CCT) as one of the CBD's tallest office towers - up to 280m high. The new development will have a food centre owned by the Government. But to ensure continuity of the hawkers' business, CCT has built the temporary centre.

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Mr Darren Tay, 40, owner of Jin Chen Coffee Stall, said: "The projected time we will be (at the interim hawker centre) is four years. Afterwards, we will move back to the building once it is done."

He took over the stall from his parents, who had it from the time the centre opened in 1984. Some of his regulars have been buying drinks from the stall since the days his parents ran it, so he is confident of maintaining his business.

Other hawkers were concerned about losing customers in the busy lunchtime period, even though the new centre is just about 300m away.

Madam Chong Kwee Wune, 50, an employee of Green Bites Salad and Soup, said: "We're moving to Telok Ayer, and many of our customers say that it is very far."

Some patrons echoed the sentiment, naming places such as China Square Central, Peninsula Shopping Centre and The Arcade as alternative lunch spots.

But most hawkers, including Mr Norman Chia, 51, believe business will not be too greatly affected.

"You'll lose some customers, but you'll also gain new ones," said Mr Chia, from Don & Set Japanese Food.

Loyal patrons of Golden Shoe Food Centre include Mr Jacky Foong, 53, who patronises it out of sheer convenience and has been going there for 10 years. "My office is just right across (from the building), so I come here for lunch every day," said the bank employee.

When The Straits Times (ST) visited yesterday, 23 stalls were closed - either for the day, or in preparation for the move.

But some hawkers have decided not to move. The elderly owners of Market Street Long House Popiah, which has been in operation for 30 years, told ST that they will retire.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 10, 2017, with the headline 'Golden Shoe food stalls to move to interim hawker centre'. Print Edition | Subscribe