8 Makan Chains We Hope Will Come Back to SG Now That A&W is Coming Back

News of A&W coming back is big news: while most of us miss the food, all of us miss the memories attached to those curly fires and that big-ass root beer.

But it’s not just A&W that has left us with good memories and then left us hanging—we do have fond memories in other F&B chains that have since left Singapore as well.

If you’re old enough to remember A&W, then you’re old enough to remember these eight F&B chains.

I’m not sure about you, but I hope they’ll come back because nostalgia is trending nowadays. A&W can prove that.


Wendy’s

Image: yahoo.com

Before you even click into this article, you know that this would definitely be the first, right? This popular US fast-food restaurant, which currently is the third largest hamburger fast-food chain, closed down suddenly in 2015. In fact, it was only after its closure that people began to miss it.

The closure was quiet, without any sob stories from the chain, but people all over Singapore cried because they haven’t had time to know the chain better: it came in the 1980s, left shortly after, and came back in 2009, lasting for only six years before saying goodbye to us again.

Given its history of its on-off relationship with Singapore, one can only wonder if they’ll come back…30 years later.


Taco Bell

Image: flickr.com

This US fast-food chain that sells Tex-Mex (machiam Singapore + Malaysia food lah) food kept a very low profile in Singapore—it often shared space with KFC, with the one in Funan Centre being one of the more popular ones.

Maybe not so many Singaporeans miss it, but we want it back for only one main reason: to add variety in the fast-food industry in Singapore. I mean, isn’t burgers and fries getting too damn mainstream?


Smoothie King

Image: scene.sg

Not too long ago, when you think smoothie, you’d think of smoothie king. Nowadays, people would just go, “Smoothie…the one in 7-Eleven?”

Smoothie King came to Singapore in 2012, but lasted in the market for mere four years before all stores closed down quietly. Unlike A&W that had issues with its core business in the US, Smoothie King just had an issue with Singapore: Singaporeans just aren’t used to paying $6 to $7 for a cup of smoothie, despite how high-quality the smoothie is.

Maybe they should do a comeback, since people are now paying that amount for a cup of cheese tea…or smoothie with a lion face #justsaying


Banquet

Image: thehalalfoodblog.com

Ah, a made-in-Singapore chain, but this time with a sad ending. If you’d remember Banquet, they do have some good food. With 46 outlets during its heyday, no one expected the halal foodcourt to close down.

But of course, it did, in a surprisingly shocking manner.

It doesn’t matter that it has been losing money for a few years before it got shut down; what mattered was that it had a $15 million debt when it closed down, with most of the creditors being the stallholders. The foodcourt chain had a unique system: they would collect the takings of the stallholders, take 20% of the revenue as rental and return the 80% to the stallholders.

In other words, each stallholder paid different rental rates every month.

Obviously that didn’t work. Now, all we want is the foodcourt to be back, but not the system.

After all, the Banquet in Jurong Point really has got some nice food #westernerswouldagree


Cafe Cartel

Image: zitseng.com

They’ve a few outlets, but the one that stood out most (at least for me) was the one in Plaza Singapura. In fact, I’d go on to say that it represented Plaza Singapura then; after all, you’d see it when you enter the mall.

The demise of the chain is as quiet as Wendy’s closure – in fact, much more quieter. So quiet that you might not know about its closure. 

But truth to be told, the only reason why I would want it back is for the memories – I can’t remember good food, good price or good anything about this restaurant.


Roti Boy

Image: opensnap.com

I bet all my assets that you’ll remember Roti Boy’s aroma, but not its buns. The popular chain took Singapore by storm and sort of started the food fad in Singapore, attracting people to its stores with an overwhelming aroma that even cats or dogs would tip-toe towards them.

While they’re no longer in Singapore, you can still find them in JB. But seriously, A&W was in JB as well and no one cared, so we really want this back in Singapore.

Just for the aroma. Not the buns (coz’ you can find the buns in almost every bakery nowadays).


Boon Lay Raja Restaurant

Image: smurffygoh.blogspot.sg

Okay, this might not be a chain but it’s so well-known to people living in the west, any westerner would have been there at least once, so let’s just live and let live and consider this a chain.

Despite its name, it wasn’t in Boon Lay, nor was it opened by a person called Raja. Opened in 1979 in Jalan Boon Lay, it moved to Jurong East in 1989 and had stayed there for 26 years before closing in 2015 as the owner was retiring.

The space is now rented to Beng Hiang Restaurant, another old-school Chinese restaurant that used to be in Amoy Street.

If only someone had taken over the business…


Gong Cha

Image: thestarvista.com

Gong Cha came to Singapore in – eh, wait. They went off and announced a comeback after a week or so.

Sorry not sorry.

But anyways, between Gong Cha and that cheese tea, I’ll take Gong Cha anytime #justsaying

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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com

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