SINGAPORE - After a long-drawn-out $4 million renovation, food centre Lau Pa Sat reopens today, but with fewer stalls and higher rental fees.
There will be about 50 stalls, which include returning tenants such as Lakeview Char Kway Teow, Song Kee Fish Balls and Ah Chwee Kway Chap. This is about 30 fewer than before, according to Shin Min Daily News and The Straits Times.
In addition, there are 14 mini-restaurants, including an authentic Japanese bakery and an Indonesian restaurant.
The revamped centre is said to offer better ventilation and can sit 2,500 diners - 460 more than before.
But rents have gone up.
A spokesman for food-court operator Kopitiam said that rental has gone up from $3,700 a month to $4,700.
However, the spokesman added that business is likely to be more brisk with fewer stalls, and that stallholders at new food centres in the area pay about $5,000 to $6,000 in rent per month.
Lau Pa Sat closed in September last year for what was to have been a two-month renovation, but there has been repeated delays which Kopitiam blamed on "permit issues" and the scale of the project.
It is understood that some stallholders have sought compensation from Kopitiam but it is unclear whether the operator would compensate them.
An official opening ceremony, hosted by local artiste Gurmit Singh, will take place at 6.30pm today. Lau Pa Sat will be open 24 hours daily.
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