McDonald's Place

Text by Eugene Tan

The legendary hangout for Millennials from numerous nearby schools, McDonald's Place (or KAP) was the place to see and to be seen - if you were about 15 in the year 2000.

Landscaped facade at the Bukit Timah / Clementi Road junction (Photo credit: Eugene Tan)

McDonald’s Place sits on the site once occupied by the Green Bus Company, a private bus service operator from the 1930s. Comprising a terminal and service depot, the bus service ceased operations in the 1970s with the formation of Singapore Bus Services to centralise Singapore’s public transport system.

A driver's approach to McDonald's Place

Tiles and undulated facade of McDonald's Place

Since 1991, the site has been the local headquarters of global fast food chain McDonald's with a corporate office and training facilities. The restaurant has served the people in its vicinity faithfully with a 24 hour fast food outlet and drive through, while co-tenants, including a supermarket and café, catered to the everyday needs of its customers. Located at the junction between Clementi Road and Bukit Timah road where schools such as Singapore Polytechnic and Methodist Girls School are located, it thrived as an after-school hangout for the many students, and could be seen filling up near examination periods with students having intensive study sessions. It became known affectionately as King Albert Park, or KAP - a name which the succeeding property's developer has co-opted.

View of Cold Storage from McDonald's

Remembered fondly by a generation will be the indoor playland on the 2nd storey and the miniature train which used to run along the walls of the restaurant. A memorable feature was also the glass panels which allowed for viewing into the Cold Storage supermarket – a thoughtful architectural gesture which allowed the possibility for children to dine in view of parents shopping below.

Late night at McDonald's Place

Memories of McDonald's Place

In 2012, the King Albert Park building was sold to Oxley Holdings for redevelopment and demolished in early 2014. While its life has come to an end, 'KAP' has certainly left an indelible mark in the minds and hearts of its many regulars.