S$28 million Jalan Besar coffeeshop not sold but closes on Aug. 17, stallholders weren't told

The stallholders showed up to start the day and were told it was the last day of operations.

Fiona Tan | August 29, 2022, 05:00 PM

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The Jalan Besar coffeeshop that was recently put up for sale for S$28 million has closed down abruptly, leaving stallholders in the dark and unhappy.

Closed on Aug. 17 due to "internal problems"

The real estate agency, Savills Singapore, announced the sale of the two-storey freehold coffeeshop, 51 Kopitiam, in their press release on Aug. 17.

However, the coffeeshop closed its doors on the same day.

Speaking to Mothership, Savills Singapore's associate director of investment sales & capital markets Sophia Lim said they are unable to comment on the closure as it was "not something the owner was involved in".

The owner had leased out the coffeeshop to a "master tenant operator", who, in turn, sub-let the stalls outs to the hawkers and managed their sub-leases.

The master operator, who declined to be named, told Chinese daily Shin Min Daily News (SMDN) that the coffeeshop closed due to "internal problems".

However, he stopped short of elaborating further, saying it was inconvenient for him to explain the matter.

Hawkers caught unaware and unhappy

When it was operational, 51 Kopitiam was able to house six food stalls and one drink stall at its location in Hoa Nam Building at 27 Foch Road.

The owner and hawker of the Ipoh Tuck Kee stall in the coffeeshop, Zhao Guorong (transliteration from Chinese), told the Chinese daily that he does not know exactly why the coffeeshop has closed.

He added that the coffeeshop's closure also came as a surprise to him.

On Aug. 17, Zhao and his employees had gone to open the stall as usual, only for them to be informed that it was the coffeeshop's last day of operations.

While he knew that the coffeeshop has been put on the market, he never expected for things to move that quickly, nor for his stall to close that soon, as his lease at the coffeeshop was until the end of September 2022.

Furthermore, the coffeeshop has yet to be bought by a buyer.

Mothership understands that the coffeeshop is still unsold as of the time of writing.

Some stalls were new tenants

To make matters worse, Zhao said some of the food stalls at 51 Kopitiam had just set up shop, one of which was a noodle stall, which has opened for less than three months.

Another stall is Unloked Kitchen, which started selling Halal lok lok, amongst other Korean and Japanese dishes at the coffeeshop from as early as Mar. 11, 2022, according to its Instagram page.

Unloked Kitchen uploaded a post onto its social media pages a week later on Aug. 25, announcing the stall's closure and bade farewell to its customers.

Rise of million dollar coffeeshops in Singapore

51 Kopitiam has an area of ​​about 4,510 sq ft.

With its S$28 million price tag, this translates to an eye-watering price of S$6,208 per square foot (psf).

While it is amongst the latest string of Singapore coffeeshops to go for millions of dollars in 2022, 51 Kopitiam does not hold the record for the highest psf price.

The record goes to a coffeeshop in Yishun that was sold for S$40 million in June 2022, which breaks down to a whopping S$9,361 psf.

In that same month, a coffeeshop in Tampines was sold at a record S$41.6 million with a psf price of S$6,964.

Million-dollar coffeeshop club

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