McDonald's to return to Marine Cove in June

The redeveloped Marine Cove will offer more open park space and a playground for children of various ages, including those with special needs.
The redeveloped Marine Cove will offer more open park space and a playground for children of various ages, including those with special needs. ST PHOTO: RACHEL OH

It will join F&B outlets at redeveloped enclave in East Coast Park after 4 years

The golden arches of McDonald's will be seen once more at East Coast Park's Marine Cove dining and recreational enclave, set to open in June after closing in 2012 for redevelopment.

The McDonald's branch, which opened there in 1982 and became a popular hangout, was also closed four years ago.

The fast-food chain opened another outlet at the East Coast Seafood Centre around the same time, but this closed in 2014.

McDonald's will join other food and beverage (F&B) establishments, such as Babalicious’s, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, My Briyani House and Hill Street Coffee Shop at the new Marine Cove.

The redeveloped area will offer more open park space and a playground with a range of interactive and inclusive play equipment for children of various ages, including those with special needs.

Its dining and recreational facilities will complement those at the adjacent Parkland Green.

Mr Chia Seng Jiang, parks director of the National Parks Board (NParks), said: "While Parkland Green, which was opened to the public earlier, has sports and lifestyle-centric F&B options, Marine Cove will offer dining for families."

Parkland Green, which opened in September 2014, has restaurants, a laser tag arena and a microbrewery.

Businesses in the area were cautiously optimistic about the opening of the new Marine Cove.

Cycle Max bicycle shop attendant Oh Zhi Rong, 21, said: "It'll be good for us when they open because people will come over after they've had their meals.

"However, if there are rental shops at Marine Cove, then it would be competition for us."

East Coast Park attracts more than seven million visitors a year, according to NParks.

Mr Kong Yit San, NParks assistant chief executive, said: "The enhancement projects are part of NParks' continuous efforts to upgrade amenities and improve accessibility within the park."

The McDonald's branch at Marine Cove was the first McDonald's outlet here to have a drive-through and to open 24 hours.

It served more than 25 million customers in 30 years.

Besides McDonald's, about 30 tenants, including Marine Bowl and Scruffy Murphy's, were affected when Marine Cove closed.

Administrator Eileen Tan, 30, was ambivalent about the return of the McDonald's outlet to Marine Cove. She said: "I have a lot of other dining options, and there's another McDonald's 10 minutes away.

"I'm not that affected by this particular one's reopening.

She added: "I guess it could hold some significance for people who made memories there."

But Mr Bernard Oh, 49, chief executive of a marketing agency, was happy to hear the news.

It was a "weekly ritual" for him to take his children there every Saturday morning.

He said: "I am very excited about this as it brings back fond memories of when I had just started my business. I look forward to the outlet's opening."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 23, 2016, with the headline 'McDonald's to return to Marine Cove in June'. Print Edition | Subscribe