In the last three months, a flurry of restaurants have reopened after closing for an overhaul. For many, it was pure coincidence that their renovations took place during the circuit breaker from April to June, when dining-in was banned.
But Long Beach Seafood Restaurant said it took advantage of the slow business in the middle of last year to rejuvenate its outlets. Its Dempsey branch was closed for a complete makeover for three months, but reopened in November after partial renovations.
An alfresco area will be added at a new pavilion that is being built next to the existing building, in response to greater demand for outdoor dining because of the pandemic.
Long Beach also made minor upgrades to three other restaurants at East Coast Seafood Centre, Stadium Boulevard and IMM in Jurong. They include adding partitions between tables for more privacy and safer distancing. A fourth outlet at Robertson Quay opened in August after the Stevens Road branch closed.
Over at Ion Orchard, Chinese restaurant Taste Paradise said it had planned its renovation and confirmed the new design months before work started in July, which was when it renewed its lease.
Others, such as Kitchen Table at W Singapore – Sentosa Cove, Min Jiang at Goodwood Park Hotel, Si Chuan Dou Hua @ Kitchener, and Peach Blossoms at Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay, made their plans as far back as one to two years ago.
But Covid-19 triggered some adjustments. For example, seating arrangements had to be reconfigured to meet the 1m safe distancing rule between tables.
Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay and Parkroyal Beach Road, which relaunched their buffet eateries under new names – Peppermint
and Ginger respectively – also changed their concept to a la carte buffets. The display counters and live stations are now used by chefs as plating areas.
There appears to be a common design brief among the refreshed restaurants: Make the space lighter and brighter. Windows that were previously hidden have been revealed to let in light, high ceilings exposed and dark hues replaced with soothing ones for a more vibrant and cheerful vibe.
Most welcome after a year of doom and gloom.