PasarBella lease extended but eateries moving out

A food stall still in operation is adjacent to an already-shuttered outlet at PasarBella. The area once occupied by the closed outlet has been converted into extra seating space for customers.
A food stall still in operation is adjacent to an already-shuttered outlet at PasarBella. The area once occupied by the closed outlet has been converted into extra seating space for customers.ST PHOTO: ALVIN HO

The 12 food stalls in gourmet farmers' market PasarBella at The Grandstand in Bukit Timah will be gone by Feb 15.

PasarBella's five-year lease was to end on Feb 28. It has now been extended for another two years and 10 months by Cogent Land Capital, which manages The Grandstand, but PasarBella has decided to restructure its 28,000 sq ft space.

It is currently split into a 13,000 sq ft retail section and a 15,000 sq ft food section.

PasarBella's director, Mr Clovis Lim, 29, told The Straits Times that only the retail section will remain. It comprises shops such as To Be Calm, which sells fragrance products such as candles and essential oils, and Shabby Chic, which sells lifestyle products such as crockery and cutlery.

He will bring in Sarnies cafe - which has an outlet at PasarBella's other food hall in Suntec City - to offer brunch in this space. Its 12,000 sq ft indoor playground called Kidzland, which opened last March, will also remain open.

As for the food section, Mr Lim is in talks to lease the entire space to another F&B operator that is not part of PasarBella. He said: "We were uncertain earlier as to whether our lease would get renewed, and so we couldn't offer the tenants anything. We decided to shrink the space for PasarBella."

Some food stalls have already closed. Papito's Paella & More, which specialised in paella, closed on Dec 31. The owners have opened an ice cream parlour called Cottontail Creamery in Serangoon.

Bonheur Patisserie, known for its macarons and pound cakes, closed on Sunday, the same day it opened an outlet at Scotts Square. It has another outlet at Raffles City.

Bonheur Patisserie chef-owner Lin Weixian, 32, said of the closure: "It's quite sad as things have changed drastically over the years. Business for the first few years was very good, but it went downhill after that."

Other stalls are operating until the last day. They include Keith Crackling Roast, which specialises in roast pork; and Sea Salt Caribbean Deli, which does Caribbean and Latin American cuisine.

Besides PasarBella tenants, some others at The Grandstand are also moving out when their leases are up.

Burger restaurant Omakase Burger's last day of operations is on Feb 11. Its other outlet is at Wisma Atria's Picnic food hall, and a new location is in the pipeline.

Japanese restaurant Yoyogi, which moved in five years ago from Mohamed Sultan Road, is also relocating. Chef-owner Edwin Tan, 48, said his lease ends on Feb 28, and he has negotiated for an extension till end-June. He will re-open Yoyogi at 49, Amoy Street, by the second week of July.

He said: "I want to move back to the city area, where I can get the corporate lunch crowd as well as my dinner regulars. While I still get regular clients at The Grandstand, the place is not as busy as before."


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 31, 2018, with the headline 'PasarBella lease extended but eateries moving out'. Print Edition | Subscribe