Newton Food Centre reopens to healthy crowds after 3-month rejuvenation project

Newton Food Centre welcomed back patrons on Feb 1 after undergoing repair and redocration works from November 2022. ST PHOTO: RYAN CHIONG
The lunch crowd at Newton Food Centre on Feb 1. Just under half the 82 stalls were open at around 1pm. ST PHOTO: RYAN CHIONG

SINGAPORE – Not one stall operator took up an offer to relocate elsewhere when Newton Food Centre had to close in November 2022 for a three-month repair and redecoration (R&R) project.

On Wednesday, the facility, which was featured in 2018’s blockbuster movie Crazy Rich Asians, welcomed back patrons, with The Straits Times noting a healthy stream of customers.

Just under half the 82 stalls were open at around 1pm. Mr Richard Toh Teck Puay, 68, chairman of the Newton Food Centre Stallholders’ Association, said that most would start later in the evening.

The refurbished venue boasts new features, including giant fans with rain sensors, waterproof blinds and LED bulbs. 

“I think changing to LED bulbs will help to bring down our electricity costs,” Mr Toh said.  Rental remains the same and the National Environment Agency (NEA) took care of the project’s bill.

The R&R project also replaced all the exhaust motors with new ones that will help cool the inside of every stall. 

“The scope of work done here was all based on feedback from stallholders,” said Mr Toh, who owns TKR@Newton which sells barbecued chicken wings and satay. 

Prior to the R&R project, the NEA provided the option to existing stallholders to operate at temporary stalls elsewhere. None took up the offer, he added. 

“Everybody decided to just take a break and now we’re all back,” he said, noting that rent was not charged during the duration of the project.

The project was helmed by the NEA as part of its efforts to upkeep hawker centres owned by the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment.

Sembawang Hills Food Centre, or Jalan Leban Food Centre, is next in line for NEA’s R&R work. The facility will be closed from Wednesday to the end of April.

R&R for Bukit Merah Central Food Centre, Mayflower Market, Holland Drive Market and Food Centre, and Block 117 Aljunied Market and Food Centre is slated to begin in March.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.