On 14 April 2019, many hearts were left broken.
The “last” Kenny Rogers branch, located at Great World City, closed.
If you’re thinking that Kenny Rogers is a retail chain that sells soft toys, then you can move on to the next article.
If not, here goes nothing.
An End To An Era
Opened here in 1994, Kenny Rogers, the OG western restaurant before chains like Astons and Chargrill Bar came in like cannonballs, was one of the favourite F&B chains for some Singaporeans.
But little did you know that the franchise has closed several outlets quietly.
On 8 April 2019, the management, Pacific Utama Pte Ltd, suddenly put up a notice at the Great World City branch to announce their last day of service. In the announcement, they also thanked the patrons they garnered over the years.
Of course, as soon as the announcement got onto social media, Singaporeans were quick to queue at the last branch. Long queues were formed, and many wanted to savour the taste of their famous corn muffins for the last time, or to taste the memories of their childhood again.
Unfortunately, they were sold out early and left many disappointed.
We were all ready to bid goodbye to the famous American restaurant chain, until this happened.
New and Improved
As everyone (okay, maybe only the A&W generation since the younger ones grow up with Astons instead) was still in shock and acceptance of the closure, Lao Huo Tang Group of Companies announced that they were taking over the master franchise rights to Kenny Rogers Singapore from Roasters Asia Pacific (Cayman) Ltd.
Lao Huo Tang Group of Companies is a homegrown F&B group behind chains such as Lao Huo Tang (老火汤), which is a family restaurant that serves traditional Chinese soups and dishes. In recent years, you would have spotted their resturants opening up almost everywhere with Edmund Chen endorsing it.
(One of us even though that 老火汤 is by Edmund Chen!)
So yes, just like how Gong Cha rose from the ashes, Kenny Rogers is making a comeback.
And it’s going to be very, very different.
They will be opening new halal-certified, ultra-modern, improvised version of the Kenny Rogers that you used to know.
What can you expect?