The King Albert Park McDonald's was not only a place to gorge on calorie-heavy Big Macs and oily fries during my childhood.
It was also where I used to hang out with friends and check out girls during my school days (I'm sure former students from ACS, SJI, MGS, CHIJ Toa Payoh, Chinese High can also identify). And yes, I've even been there on not-so-romantic dates before.
These memories came rushing back to me when I read earlier this week that the building (more fondly known by its initials, KAP) would soon be closed, and with it all its tenants, including familiar long-time occupants McDonald's and Cold Storage, gone.
The news is even more devastating, since it comes merely a few weeks after another local icon and childhood favourite of mine, the East Coast Park McDonald's, shut down after 30 years in operations
I remember spending much of my childhood at McDonald's Place mugging during the horrid exam periods. When I think back, how I managed to concentrate in the midst of the chaos and smell of oil, I don't know, but fortunately I did.
I lived near KAP for more than 10 years -- the greater part of my formative years as a student -- and it was not just a place to hang out after school.
It also contributed to important family time when my family and I would spend weekend mornings having breakfast together before engaging in grocery shopping at Cold Storage.
Going back further to when I was a tiny tot, running, climbing, jumping, and sliding myself silly in the giant indoor playground was once my idea of heaven. That is, until they got rid of the playground to make more room for seats.
Cold Storage and McDonald's were not the only stores I remember fondly. There was also a Video Ezy, where I could rent the latest movies, though the funky smell of the store put me off sometimes. Bengawan Solo which occupied the bottom floor, along with Cold Storage, was one of my mother's favourite shops for pastries.
I know KAP won't ever be mentioned in the same breath as other local heritage icons like the Raffles Hotel or shophouses along Chinatown, and though it may not live long in the memories of most in Singapore, it will forever remain a huge part of my life.
What are your memories of McDonald’s Place at King Albert Park? We’d love to hear from you. Send us your best memories and photographs to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “My memories of KAP” in the headline and your pictures and story may be featured.
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