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No one willing to take over, not even family': Popular Old Tiong Bahru Bak Kut Teh to close shop after 30 years



No one willing to take over, not even family': Popular Old Tiong Bahru Bak Kut Teh to close shop after 30 years​


PHOTO: Facebook/Old Tiong Bahru Bak Kut Teh

Tiong Bahru residents and foodies alike would be familiar with Old Tiong Bahru Bak Kut Teh, which can be identified by its iconic pig logo.
The decades-old establishment has been dishing out bowls of peppery Teochew-style bak kut teh to their customers and has even grown a loyal fan base.
But all good things must come to an end and the owners, Judy Tay, 67, and Oliver Ko, 71, have decided to hang up their aprons. The stall's last day of operations will be on July 30.
The couple have run the business together for more than 30 years, and it has been so long that Judy tells AsiaOne she can't even remember the exact date the stall was established.
"Aiyoh, I've lost count of the years. I just know that I've been here for over 30 years," she said.

No willing successor​

An emotional Judy tells us that she and Oliver had already decided to close the stall a few months back because of "personal matters" they needed to settle.
They also plan to use this as an opportunity to rest.
"I feel sad. If you've had a business for over 30 years, you'll definitely feel something," she said.
And while it hurts to say goodbye to their beloved stall, they have no choice.
"On our end, no one is willing to take over the business, not even family," she explained in Chinese.
But they are keeping an open mind. If they can find a capable successor, they may pass the business on to them.
Apart from herself and her husband, Judy shared with AsiaOne that she has a team of 11 workers who help out at the stall.
All of them are elderly as well, with seven of them in their 70s and one of them in their 80s.
"They've been with me for over 30 years," Judy noted.
The couple refuses to leave their loyal workers unemployed too and are currently trying to find them new jobs elsewhere.
In fact, some of their customers have even offered to hire the workers for their own businesses to keep them employed.

Devastated customers​

As Judy and her husband are not very tech-savvy, they had no other way to spread the news of their closure apart from word of mouth.
So, around the last week of June, they started telling customers and regulars that they were closing.
Word has spread like wildfire, and fans of their bak kut teh have also taken to social media platforms like Facebook to mourn.
Several commented how sad they were about the closure, while others wondered why.

Another one bites the dust​

Just a few weeks back, foodies learned that Happy Chef Western Food, an old-school hawker stall at Crawford Lane, was shuttering as well.
Netizens found out about the closure via a post on Facebook group Hawkers United - Dabao 2020.
Despite posting an update on their website stating that they will be closed from June 15 to 25 and set to reopen on June 26, calls to the listed phone number on the stall's sign have confirmed that the elderly owner has retired.
In addition, the store is shown to be permanently closed on Google.
The news came as a shock to some as there was no indication that the stall would close.

syed putra

Slowly nature is creeping and taking its course and eventually will lead back to the rightful owners of the island,


Alfrescian (Inf)
Another killed by the rent.

Better than Founder, Legendary, Song Fa, Ya Hua and Tuan Yuan? :unsure: