30 Years of Memories at Marine Cove McDonald’s

A favourite hangout place for many, the McDonald’s outlet at Marine Cove, East Coast Park, has served a generation of Singaporeans well for the past 30 years.

Students used to visit the place for a drink after their participation at the nearby Road Safety Park. NSF (Full-Time National Servicemen) would enjoy a break there upon completion of a 5km run at East Coast Park on Saturday mornings. It was also a popular rendezvous for lovers, a birthday celebration for kids or simply a place of gathering for friends and families.

The first McDonald’s in Singapore was operated at Orchard Road’s Liat Towers in 1979. With the rapid growth of the franchise, its Marine Cove (formerly known as East Coast Recreation Centre) outlet was opened three years later in 1982. Marine Cove became popular among the crowds, with arcade (Funland), a 25,000 square-feet bowling alley (Marine Bowl), snooker saloon, theme park and other café and restaurants added over the years.

Marine Cove was formerly owned by Rock Productions, the business arm of Christian organisation New Creation. The National Parks Board (NPB) had intended to take over this popular beach haunt in September 2011, but decided to grant a six-month extension to the affected 32 tenants. The redevelopment plans of the area are not disclosed yet, but the buildings are likely to be demolished soon.

Come 18th of March 2012, this popular 30-year-old McDonald’s outlet will be closing down for good. Burger lovers can still get their fix at the new McDonald’s outlet at East Coast Seafood Centre, but in order to become a special place of fond memories, it will probably take another generation or so.

Published: 15 March 2012

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8 Responses to 30 Years of Memories at Marine Cove McDonald’s

  1. Roy says:

    I’m gonna miss this place…

  2. marine parade resident says:

    The photo captioned ‘East Coast Recreation Centre 1981’ does not show Marine Cove, but what was known as ‘Big Splash’. Marine Cove is somewhere to the right of the upper half of this photo.

  3. I saw a video of this in Vimeo. A sad ending for a Singapore institution. I do hope that the new design will incorporate this area, remembering its history and its importance to the formation of the contemporary Singaporean psyche. http://vimeo.com/38904928

  4. Allan Chua says:

    It all started here, there was a snooker room on the top of this McDonald. and a McDonald playground just infront of Travern on a Square.. Waooo that”s been 25+ years

  5. I was there on the last day to witness the closing . good memories

  6. Another favourite haunt for students, the iconic King Albert Park McDonald’s will be closing in mid-March 2014 after 23 years of operation

  7. christine says:

    I miss Marine Cove. I grew up loving that area

  8. Long-time East Coast seafood joint to go


    Saturday, Jan 17, 2015

    SINGAPORE – After almost 30 years in its current seaside location, Red House Seafood at East Coast Seafood Centre will be gone by March 25, when its lease expires.

    It is the only remaining tenant of Block 1204, which is set to be demolished in April. The other two blocks are not affected. The move is to create more open space in the park, said the National Parks Board (NParks), which manages the centre.

    “To enhance (East Coast Park’s) coastal identity, NParks strives to make available green spaces with sea views where possible,” said its director of parks Chia Seng Jiang in response to queries. “Block 1204 will be removed to create more greenery and open spaces for public use and enjoyment, with a sea view.”

    The move is part of continuous efforts to improve the park and its amenities, he added. The McDonald’s outlet at Marine Cove was another park landmark that closed, in 2012. The East Coast branch is one of three Red House Seafood outlets, with the other two located in Robertson Quay and Prinsep Street. The original restaurant was established in 1976 in its eponymous red house in Upper East Coast Road. It moved to East Coast Parkway 10 years later. Chilli crab and lobster noodles are among its specialities.

    The Straits Times understands that Red House Seafood has no immediate plans to open another outlet to replace the East Coast one. The management could not be reached for comment. One of those who will miss the East Coast branch is retiree Simon Kee, 66. He visits East Coast Seafood Centre only once or twice a year, but whenever he does so, he always eats at Red House Seafood. “Of course I feel sad,” he said, when told of the impending closure. “The food here is good.”

    Of the seafood centre’s three blocks, Block 1204 is set farther back from the shore. After it is demolished, those wanting seafood by the coast can still visit Long Beach or Jumbo Seafood.

    “Access to these outlets will remain open at all times, where park users can continue to enjoy dining by the seafront,” said Mr Chia. For retiree Peter Tan, 60, that will suffice. He visits the centre a few times a year with friends, and the restaurant they choose depends on who is organising the meeting. “I don’t really have a particular one I like,” he said.

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