Have You Seen Liang Court Lately?

Close to lunch last Sunday, I was looking for a gold coloured tie to go with my black shirt for this event and decided to try my luck at Liang Court. I recalled fondly that they might have some boutiques there, since they cater largely to a Japanese expatriate market. This used to be one of my favourite childhood hangouts, with the lethal combination of a Swensen's Restaurant, Kinokuniya Bookstore and of course Daimaru.

Of course, things have changed quite a lot since.

The most obvious difference was that Daimaru and Swensen's were gone. In place of Daimaru's 4 levels are a budget electronic shop in level 1, some furniture shops at level 2, and Books Kinokuniya (thankfully still around as its one of my favourite) in level 3.

The main lobby of Liang Court now have permanent (or semi-permanent?) pasar-malam style racks selling cheap bags, belts, purses....

...T-shirts, shoes, and sandals, among other things.

Many of the shops were not open even though it was Sunday noon. I would say at least 50% of them were still shuttered. Maybe the operators needed a life too?

Interestingly, there were quite a few antique shops and art galleries in there. Most however, didn't seem to be particularly focused on any specific genre.

As I walked around the complex, I noticed that even the almighty McDonald's, considered by many to be a prized anchor tenant for its crowd-attracting ability, appeared a little lonely.

I went downstairs to the basement to check out Meidi-Ya Supermarket for some cheer. Some of you may know that I love Japanese food.

Fortunately, there were some signs of life there. However, the scene was definitely far from frenzy one would normally see in an NTUC Fairprice outlet.

At the basement too was this quirky little Japanese-style hair salon called Barber Minami, which was doing a roaring business.

The rest of the basement was shuttered, hopefully being renovated for a better tomorrow.

As its next door neighbour Clarke Quay transformed itself into a vibrant lifestyle, dining and entertainment hub, I sure hope that they would do something at Liang Court.

UPDATE: Good news! I just read in the Straits Times today (7 April) that AsiaMalls Management is going to spruce up the six-storey shopping centre with a $40 million revamp starting in May 2007. The idea is to reconfigure the interior to make shops more accessible and to theme it "modern Asian". Let's hope they can bring back some of its former magic!

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