Eatery IndoChine to make way for museum makeover

Eatery IndoChine to make way for museum makeover

Alfresco restaurant IndoChine Waterfront will be vacating the premises it has occupied for 11 years at the end of the month.

It will be making space for a revamp along the Singapore River near the Asian Civilisations Museum, where the restaurant sits.

Owner Michael Ma made a last- ditch attempt to retain the space earlier this week, but any extension is unlikely as the authorities say he has had two years to make alternative plans.

The National Heritage Board, which runs the museum, told The Straits Times that it is planning a makeover of the building that will include a river entrance, a new gallery as well as shops and restaurant space.

"These renovations make it impossible to extend IndoChine's lease, although they will certainly be welcome to bid for the new spaces," said the museum's assistant director of operations Bernard Tan. He added that the restaurant group was informed of the decision in 2012.

Mr Tan said IndoChine's original lease ended two years ago, but it was granted a special extension which ends this month.

Mr Ma, chief executive and founder of the IndoChine group of hotels, eateries and clubs, said he is making plans to shift some of his staff - numbering more than 90 - to other branches.

IndoChine will also bid for the new retail spaces when they are available next year, he added.

The National Heritage Board is working with the Urban Redevelopment Authority on the construction and design of the new riverfront. Museum visitors who spoke to The Straits Times had mixed views on the new plans.

Housewife Madam Wee Teh, 43, who was visiting with her daughter Yuki, 13, said: "Having more exhibit spaces and galleries means more things for the kids to explore and learn from."

But business operations director Krishnan Prasad, 44, who drops by occasionally for dinner, said: "I'd prefer to dine at a waterfront restaurant than have an extra entrance, when there already is one."

This article was first published on June 6, 2014.
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