‘Nothing can replace the bond’: Raffles Town Club crew, members lament site’s future redevelopment , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

‘Nothing can replace the bond’: Raffles Town Club crew, members lament site’s future redevelopment

Raffles Town Club's impending closure in 2026 brings a wave of nostalgia and future uncertainties for its dedicated community.

In the basement of Raffles Town Club, there's a man who's been a constant since 2000.

Meet Mr. Anthony Tay, 61, the go-to guy for car grooming among the club's members. But with the club set to vacate for residential development in 2026, Mr Tay faces a tough goodbye.

Two decades of shine: "I definitely feel sad," Tay shares, his voice tinged with emotion. For over 20 years, he's not just polished cars; he's polished relationships.

"I’m used to serving all these familiar faces, and all of a sudden, I need to leave them. Nothing else can replace that kind of bond I have with my customers... They are like old friends to me."

The club's countdown: Announced on Nov 20, the Raffles Town Club, a fixture near Stevens MRT station, is on a countdown to its closure. The club isn't just about car grooming; it's a hub of activity with a variety of facilities, including the MindChamps childcare centre.

The staff's reaction: "It was a shock," admits Ms Malathi Mohan, a cleaner at the club. She's been part of the club for five years and is now uncertain about her next step.

Ms Marymay, the cafe's outlet manager, echoes this sentiment, noting that they're waiting for more information.

Members' concerns: Members, too, are in a dilemma. "The membership is a bad investment," states Mr Tee Lim, 60, a financial adviser, pointing out the club's maintenance issues.

Mr Alan Chu, 65, recalls the 2005 lawsuit where nearly 5,000 members, including himself, sued the club. He's skeptical about any further compensation.

What lies ahead: With the club's fate hanging in the balance, the Raffles Town Club community is bracing for change.

The club itself hasn't clarified its plans post-2026, leaving staff and members in limbo.