Friday, 23 March 2012

The coffee house that long vanished

Recently the McDonald's outlet in East Coast Parkway (ECP) closed down after 30 years. Many have wonderful recollection of that place which is near the seaside, and where many spent part of their childhood hanging out there. Here is a video made in memory of ECP McDonalds.


Remembering ECP McDonald's from Colourbars Media on Vimeo.

While I do not always hang out at the ECP McDonalds, I remember a couple of odd nights there when I was chilling out with my friends many years ago.  Also I have brought my niece and nephew there during the school holidays and we would have our lunch in ECP McDonalds after cycling.  

It got me thinking about those places (restaurants, fast food outlets) which I remember fondly of from the old days, and which are no longer around. One that came to mind is A&W. During secondary school days, my friends and I used to hang out at A&W for our favourite Root Beer float, curly fries, and waffles. I think many Singaporeans in their 30s-40s have been waiting for A&W to make a comeback in Singapore. 

I also recalled Silver Spoon Coffee House which has long vanished since the late 80s-early 90s. Silver Spoon used to be located at Supreme House (which is the modern day Park Mall) at Penang Road in the midst of Orchard Road. In those days an 'atas' restaurant was called a 'coffee house'.  Silver Spoon was the one and only coffee house which I worked for as a waitress during the school vacation. It was a big restaurant serving mainly Western food; steak and set lunches. It was quite similar to Jack's Place but seemed more upper class in those days. I think they paid their workers slightly better than McDonalds. I was an awkward student new to the outside world. Since I was a trainee waitress, I was only permitted to serve glasses of plain water, clean the table, lay the cutleries and serve the occasional garlic bread and coffee. I was not allowed to take orders or payment from the customers. It was hard work, as I remember my arms would be aching so badly at the end of each day, after having served glasses and glasses of water on a tray everyday.    

And during my stint in Silver Spoon, they would be playing a particular song daily. It was "Those were the days" by Mary Hopkins. Now, whenever I hear this song, I would remember Silver Spoon. I remember the lady boss and her elegant daughter who were so immacutely dressed. The young lady boss was pretty, had long hair, and oozed a certain charm, confidence and poise. I remember telling myself I would want to be just like her when I grow up.

"Supreme House", "Silver Spoon", "Those were the days"..... these are now just spurts of memories of the past. If you have fond memories of some particular old places, visit them again before they vanish for good.


Once upon a time there was a tavern
Where we used to raise a glass or two
Remember how we laughed away the hours
And think of all the great things we would do

Those were the days, my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way
La la la la la la
La la la la la la

Then the busy years went rushing by us
We lost our starry notions on the way
If by chance I'd see you in the tavern
We'd smile at one another and we'd say

Those were the days, my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
Those were the days
Oh, yes, those were the days
La la la la la la
La la la la la la

Just tonight I stood before the tavern
Nothing seemed the way it used to be
In the glass I saw a strange reflection
Was that lonely woman really me?

Those were the days, my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
Those were the days
Oh, yes, those were the days
La la la la la la
La la la la la la

Through the door there came familiar laughter
I saw your face and heard you call my name
Oh, my friend, we're older but no wiser
For in our hearts the dreams are still the same... 

Those were the days, my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
Those were the days
Oh, yes, those were the days
La la la la la la
La la la la la la

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