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'He's no longer capable of serving you': Toa Payoh Western food stall run by elderly, hunchbacked hawker to close after nearly 40 years

'He's no longer capable of serving you': Toa Payoh Western food stall run by elderly, hunchbacked hawker to close after nearly 40 years
PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News, Facebook/Carl Neo

So long, and thanks for the memories.

An elderly, hunchbacked hawker who helms the Asian Western food stall at Blk 116 Toa Payoh Lorong 2 is finally calling it a day after close to 40 years.

In a message to the Toa Payoh Makan Places Facebook group on Friday (Sept 16), a woman who identified herself as the hawker's daughter shared news of his retirement.

The woman, Betti Lui, indicated that his age was a factor in the decision to close the business after 38 years.

"It has been extremely challenging to upkeep the prices (sic) you have been familiar with throughout the years that he was running this business. But with every smile on your faces, it was all worth it," she wrote.

However, Betti shared that her father's age "has finally caught up and he is no longer capable of serving you."

Testament to the stall's longevity, Betti described how "heartwarming" it was for her dad to see the once little boys and girls who used to patronise the stall return as "men and women, fathers and mothers", "and their children saying 'Hello Uncle, five chicken wings please?'"

Sharing that Lui and their family have had to sacrifice time with each other over the many decades due to the business, she added, "It's time that he retires and spends more time with us".

According to social media posts, his stall is open daily from 12pm to 10pm.

Unfortunately, the stall and Uncle Lui's recipes will not be passed down, as Betti explained that it was "difficult to find someone to take over this stall, and keep to the standards and principles this place was running on".


And it seems Uncle Lui has earned himself quite a loyal following over the decades.

In a Facebook post last November, a customer urged more patrons to support the elderly hawker, who he said had developed a hunched back over the past two or three years.

In another post shared earlier this year, a Facebook user expressed amazement that Lui's fried whole spring chicken is priced at "only $8" and commended the hawker for doing "everything single-handedly" despite his advanced age.

Their posts got many former patrons reminiscing on Lui's food from their childhood, praising the quality of his dishes as well as his service.

Betti, however, did not indicate when is, or was, the stall's last day of service. 

She shared in her parting shot thanking customers for their patronage over the years, "May your life be bright and spicy, like his chilli!"

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