She had been expecting a slow day after four days of an enforced closure at Parkway Parade, but Ms Arlyn Borleze, 40, was pleasantly surprised by the surge of people yesterday.
The worker at pretzel shop Auntie Anne's said they had 70 customers from the morning and afternoon crowd, up from the usual 30 on a Friday.
"My boss initially told me to just do my best because we didn't know if business would be affected.
"But most people were excited to visit the mall again," she said.
When The New Paper visited yesterday, crowds thronged the mall.
But not all tenants were ready in time.
Dome cafe, which usually opens at 8.30am, opened at 3.15pm yesterday.
Chairs had to be replaced. They had become sodden when sprinklers were activated after a fire in the storeroom of Fox Kids and Baby on the second storey on Sunday night.
The shopping centre was closed for four days to facilitate cleaning, testing and rectification works.
The management also had to repair essential cabling in the fire protection system.
When TNP visited, Fox Kids and Baby was closed, and a smell of burning still lingered in the mall.
Dome staff cleaned up the damaged seating area.
"The whole area was dirty," said Ms Jo Lim, 50, manager of the outlet.
She said: "Due to the power shortage from the incident, the fridge was not working and we had to replace our ingredients."
Ms Lim said she was not blaming the landlords for the fire as it was "an accident."
"Now my priority is to ensure my store is back to normal."
A shopper at Parkway said the closure was a "real inconvenience".
"I had to reschedule all my facial and pedicure appointments and I'm leaving town next week," said the woman in her 60s.
Shops in Marine Parade Central also suffered from the closure.
Mr Lim Ree Yong, 58, who works at Rong Fa Guo Tiao Mian at Marine Parade Food Centre, said the closure caused an almost 30 per cent drop in business.
He said most tables were empty during the period, when usually, they would be filled.
Parkway tenants Isetan and Uniqlo opened their shop spaces on the first storey, but closed off their second storey units.
An Isetan spokesman said the department store is still tidying up the second storey and hopes to open two to three days later.
Still, most retailers were picking themselves up again. Many said they were looking forward to a bustling weekend.
This article was first published on May 21, 2016.
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