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Bishan prawning outlet to close after 300% rental hike

Hai Bin Prawning will be closing its maiden outlet in Bishan on Sunday. (Photo from Hai Bin's Facebook page)

After six years in operation, a popular prawning venue in Bishan will close down due to a "sharp increase in rental", and will close on Sunday.

Hai Bin, the company that operates the outlet on Sin Ming Avenue, first shared the news of its closing on Thursday, saying on its website that the hike was "a staggering 300 per cent", making it "impossible for us to continue".

According to The New Paper, the monthly rental leaped from $26,000 a month to $65,000 — an amount they were recently informed of by their landlord Nature Park, which also operates the Asian Golf Academy, located at the same place.

They were then asked to pack up and clear out within three days, the report said. When the company sought more time, they were told they would be charged almost $35,000 for the 15-day extension.

According to its website, Hai Bin's outlet in Bishan was where it first started its prawn fishing business in December 2006. It said one of its missions is to promote prawn fishing as a lifestyle, providing a "tranquil, comfortable and clean environment" for prawning.

At its Jurong Hill and Punggol outlets, the company organises Nelayan pro fishing competitions, with a saltwater fishing pond at Punggol.

Social media was awash with outrage and sadness, with many of Hai Bin's customers and supporters expressing their regret at its Bishan outlet closing.

"Landowners and land lords are jerks," commented user Jeremy Tan. "The first place where my boyfriend introduced me to prawning," said Cyndi Liau. "So many memories and fun times there; what a pity. Tried the other two ponds before, but (they) weren't as good as Bishan... so sad."

"That's where I first started learning how to prawn ):" wrote Joliin IsBored. "It's sad to know this."

In commemoration of its last day in Bishan on Sunday, Hai Bin Prawning said it will allow every customer that visits the outlet during its opening hours, ending midnight, a free three-hour prawning session. Over and above that, each customer will also receive a two-hour free prawning voucher, which can be used at either of its other two outlets in Punggol and Jurong. For more details, click here.