By now, you should know that A&W has made a comeback with a bang.
And by now, you should also know that AMK Hub is going to be called A&W Hub by July this year.
While I’d go out on a limb and say that A&W would just be a fad as it’s only attracting old people like me who’re going apeshit over the restaurant for the memories and not the food, it’s undeniable that anything A&W nowadays are hot news.
With the upcoming A&W being the news of the day yesterday, how much do you know about this restaurant and the mall that’ll be housing this ironic chain?
Here are ten facts you’ve got to know before making your way to AMK Hub this July.
And yes, you most probably would thank us for this.
Ang Mo Kio Hub, The Mall That’s As Crowded As Jewel (Or Even More Crowded)
As someone who used to go there, I can vouch that the mall is one of the most crowded malls in Singapore.
Finding a parking lot there is as difficult as finding Mewtwo in Pokémon GO, and considering that there’s always a snaking queue to the car park, spending more than 45 minutes to park after reaching the entrance of the mall is common.
The mall is next to a large neighbourhood with a central market, so the entire area is “human mountain human sea”, packed with aunties dabao-ing cai png from the coffeeshops and students going gaga over the countless bubble tea shops.
To add fuel to the fire, there’s a bus interchange that’s integrated into the mall, and there’s a large NTUC FairPrice at the basement.
In other words, once A&W opens there, I can imagine the queue to stretch all the way to Northpoint City.
Largest A&W So far
It’s easy to be the largest when you’ve only two outlets.
The one in Jewel can seat 80 diners, but for the new outlet in AMK Hub, it’s almost double the size with 140 seats.
According to A&W, the outlet in Jewel serves as an incubator for menu innovation and service design, while the one in Ang Mo Kio will cater to the customer demographics in the neighbourhood through unique features.
In other words, you can say that the Jewel outlet is meant more for interesting new menu and design, while this AMK outlet is for people like us who’re going for the memories.
But what unique features can we look forward to?
Waffle Island, Selfie Corner and Memories
Remember back in the good old days when we pestered our parents to buy us one of these bears?
Well, it’s making a comeback, though our parents might be the one buying them for themselves instead.
Soon (this might not be immediate), there would be a merchandise corner, where you’ll have the chance to bring home A&W Rooty – The Great Root Bear, whether in the form of plushies, apparel or whatnot.
And yes, Rooty is the name of this bear.
Other than that, there will be a dedicated waffle island which will showcase the bestselling A&W Waffles and a selfie corner for ‘Instagram-worthy’ moments.
Students’ Meal on the Way
This might not take place in the initial first few months, but according to A&W, they’re working out “student promotions”.
The mall is filled with students, and NYP is just an MRT stop away, so it’s a good move to attract the younger people.
Though you’ve got to admit that the reason for “delaying” the student promotion is pretty obvious.
For a start, it’ll open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily, which is different from the hours in Jewel (the outlet there is 24 hours).
However, they have plans to roll out menus for breakfast and late-night supper in the later part of the year, which means their opening hours can be much longer.
That makes sense because there’s a cineplex in the mall, so people can finally have another place to makan before their midnight movie instead of relying on the super-crowded-forever-no-seat McDonald’s that’s just outside the mall.
So, where exactly is the restaurant going to be located?
It’ll be on B1, which also houses the large NTUC FairPrice I mentioned earlier.
And it seems to be already on renovation. Once again, we’ve Facebook Page Singapore Atrium Sale to thank for, because the admin somehow used his / her teleportation device to teleport there and took this image:
The good news about this location? B1 is also where people would go when they need to get to the car park, so you won’t need to walk far if you’re headed there just for the memories.
Though, of course, finding a lot is the problem.
In the past, it was usually the kids who would cry for A&W.
Come on, you’ve done that before. Either that or McDonald’s.
In an ironic twist, this restaurant isn’t targeted for kids but for baby-boomers: people who’re born between 1946 to 1964 (55 to 75 years old this year).
According to Sally See, International Business Development Manager from A&W, “As we continue with our expansion plans in the region, we are always on the look-out for opportunities to be easily accessible to our fans in Singapore, especially to the baby-boomers who grew up with the brand as well as millennials who are beginning to take interest in what we have got to offer!” (emphasis in bold ours)
Wait, where’s the Generation X (born between 1961 to 1981)?
And why the millennials in the office claim that A&W are their memories?
About A&W in Singapore
Well, for a start, A&W is here to stay. According to the folks from A&W, the A&W Restaurants’ international corporate office was recently set up in Singapore, operating under A Great American Brand International Pte Ltd, to build on the brand recognition that had grown in the region over the years.
Since then, a core leadership team have been put together to support existing and new franchisee growth internationally.
To date, there are over 370 international A&W® Restaurants in the region, across Bangladesh, Indonesia, Okinawa, Malaysia, Thailand, and now, Singapore.
And speaking of Singapore…
Third store to open next year
This isn’t in the press release sent to us, but according to Channel NewsAsia, a spokesperson told them that the third outlet will only open next year.
That could mean only one thing: you can expect the queue in A&W AMK Hub to be crazy, because lest you’re not aware, the queues in Jewel are still crazy. My colleague was in Jewel recently for a meeting and had taken the afternoon off just to try the A&W. The impatient him gave up after seeing the queue (he didn’t cancel his leave because the journey from Changi to Bukit Batok is already half a day).
While I can’t give you tips on how to cut the queue in A&W, I do know of a way to get to AMK Hub via driving without having to wait for hours for a lot.
Tips How Getting There Via Driving
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Parking at the mall is going to be a pain in the butt, and you might think of parking at the multi-storey HDB car park beside the mall.
Firstly, it’s just as packed and secondly, you need skills to navigate the tight car park there or you’re going to contribute to the numerous wall scars there.
And don’t even think of parking at the very limited open-air carpark illegally beside the HDB car park: parking wardens seem to be working 24 hours there.
Instead, park here:
It’s an open-air car park next to the library, and it’s usually not that packed. You’d need to walk about 10 minutes to the mall, but it’s better than making 3,000 turns in the mall and still can’t find a lot after an hour.
Here’s how the car park looks like:
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