Month-long Orchard fiesta to woo shoppers

At the Local Gourmet Fiesta outside Shaw House, visitors can tuck into salted egg chicken burger, tempura kimchi popiah and other delicious food.
At the Local Gourmet Fiesta outside Shaw House, visitors can tuck into salted egg chicken burger, tempura kimchi popiah and other delicious food.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Event launched with local gourmet spread; look out for pop-up events, promotions and lucky draws

Visitors to Orchard Road can get a street-side taste of Keng Eng Kee Seafood's coffee ribs or salted egg chicken burger and tempura kimchi popiah from Good Chance Popiah this weekend as part of a month-long event which was launched yesterday.

Called Fiesta on a Great Street, it features pop-up events, shopping promotions and lucky draws.

For example, shoppers who spend $300 or more can redeem shopping vouchers at any of seven participating malls.

Kicking off the event is the Local Gourmet Fiesta outside Shaw House, which ends tomorrow.

Six food and beverage establishments, including Baker's Oven Patiseries, are taking part in the event and 20 per cent of sales proceeds will go to the Singapore Red Cross. Chefs will also hold master classes.

Patient service officer Rina Cheo, 61, bought popiah at the fiesta during her lunch break yesterday. "Good, traditional food is sometimes difficult to find. It's good that they brought it here," she said.

There will also be pop-ups at Takashimaya Shopping Centre and Hotel Jen Orchardgateway.

Organised by the Orchard Road Business Association (Orba), the fiesta aims to draw more people to the shopping district.

The association also previously organised pedestrian nights, where a 660m stretch of the shopping strip was closed to traffic on the first Saturday evening of each month.

The pilot initiative had its last run in February last year.

Orchard Road has been in the spotlight recently, following Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran's announcement on April 13 that the shopping belt could become fully pedestrianised as part of bold plans to transform the precinct into a distinctive shopping and lifestyle destination.

Speaking at a tourism industry conference then, he said reclaiming the road would create "a multipurpose space where diverse and larger-scale experiential concepts can be introduced". This comes amid a tepid retail scene, despite efforts like having car-free weekends and cash grants for malls to build underground linkways.

Last year, retail sales excluding motor vehicles fell 2.6 per cent from the year before, according to figures from the Department of Statistics. In 2015, retail sales had slipped 1.2 per cent from the year before.

Orba chairman Mark Shaw said events such as Fiesta on a Great Street fit in well with such rejuvenation plans for Orchard Road.

"The semi-pedestrianisation would mean a lot more event space on Orchard Road so we could do this on a larger scale," he said.

"If it works out well, we'd love to expand it to other locations," he added. "Hopefully this can make it onto our calendar."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 22, 2017, with the headline 'Month-long Orchard fiesta to woo shoppers'. Print Edition | Subscribe