Bukit Merah's slow but steady gentrification

Published Fri, Jul 11, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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TRENDY cafes may have come and gone in the Bukit Merah neighbourhood, but that doesn't faze new entrants such as Pan Delights and Butterscotch.

Butterscotch's Noorazman Abdul Manap, 31, believes he is creating something to serve the community - an all-halal cafe. Being the only halal-certified cafe in the area (and one of the few in Singapore), Butterscotch has gained a steady following. Jerome Siew, the 29-year-old co-owner of Pan Delights, doesn't think it's the area that is presenting a problem: "The previous owner of my unit was also operating an F&B place, but it served very generic Western cuisine, such as fish and chips," he explains, "so in his opinion, the place had no potential, and his business failed."

Mr Noorazman also admits that other tenants or older residents are sometimes a bit sceptical of his business. "We were told (by current tenants and older people in the area) that we shouldn't get this space as the crowd here is 'dead," he explains, "I guess they were afraid of competition."

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