The saddest F&B closures of 2021: Chinatown Food Street, Ben's Cookies and more

Ben's Cookies (left) closed its last outlet in Singapore in October. In the same month, Chinatown Food Street also closed after 20 years.
Instagram/benscookies_sg, The Straits Times

It's been something of a tumultuous year for the F&B scene, and unfortunately, we've had to bid goodbye to many familiar names.

Some have cited expired leases while others have blamed a lack of traffic. But we're still holding out hope that some of these eateries might just make a comeback.

Chinatown Food Street

The popular hawker destination closed for good on Oct 22 after 20 years, saying there were "no tourists or local crowd".

The street was once home to stalls such as Famous Eunos Bak Chor Mee, Tiong Bahru Meng Kee Roast Duck, Katong Keah Kee Fried Oysters and Boon Tat BBQ Seafood.

Ben's Cookies

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For seven years, the English cookie chain spoiled us with the perfect chewy cookies, but it shuttered its last store in Singapore on Oct 7.

And it went out with a bang when it ran a '7 for $7' closing promotion, selling out all its cookies three days earlier than planned.

The Beast

American-style restaurant The Beast, known for its Southern comfort food, closed in November.

The restaurant said the pandemic was a big reason for its closure, describing Covid-19 as "the mother of all beasts".

The Beast said it would be taking time to "regroup and to focus [its] energies on other projects", but for now, we'll have to get our chicken and waffles fix elsewhere.

Just Acia's Dhoby Ghaut outlet

The chain restaurant may have two other outlets at Bedok Point and Sembawang Shopping Centre, but the closure of its Dhoby Ghaut outlet in November definitely marks the end of an era.

Known for its budget-friendly offerings, the eatery was a popular after-school and weekend hangout spot for teenagers for over a decade.

Mian Zhuang

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Not only was this hawker stall a casualty of the pandemic, but the couple running it also ended up breaking up due to the pressure.

The ban mian stall, located in Hong Lim Market & Food Centre, was set up by 29-year-old Jonathan Chng and 26-year-old Vanessa Ong in 2019.

As the business struggled due to the pandemic, the stall was closed permanently in November and the couple parted ways.

Jonathan, however, doesn't rule out a comeback, and is still selling Mian Zhuang's signature chilli sauce.

The Ricetable

The Indonesian restaurant was known for being the only establishment in Singapore serving up authentic rijsttafel (an assortment of Indonesian dishes served Dutch-style on rechauds).

After 24 years in operation, it announced in May that it would not be renewing its lease.

Waffletown

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Unfortunately, we've had to bid goodbye to yet another nostalgic spot.

For some 40 years, the American-style diner served up fragrant and crispy waffles and was known for its retro vibes. The eatery closed on May 18, citing "rental problems".

Grub

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The cafe located in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park has been a popular destination for the past nine years but it is set to close in January 2022.

Grub has said it is still looking for a new location, and we're crossing our fingers that they'll be back in action without much delay.

ALSO READ: 'Lousy food and expensive': Food Junction at Bugis Junction closes for good but netizens don't seem to be too upset

kimberlylim@asiaone.com