Ridout recently came on the news that its anchor resident, McDonalds Queensway is shutting down after over 2 decades in operation there. That caught the attention of many, especially the having the FOMO of the place closing for good. So what is Ridout? Lets take alook with a visit to the iconic Ridout Mcdonalds itself.

Ridout Mcdonalds gardens main pond, the last of the classic Japanese Garden from the 1970s
Ridout gardens main pond, the last of the classic Japanese Garden from the 1970s.

What is Ridout? a history

So what exactly is Ridout? Ridout is named after Ridout road, an estate which runs behind the garden. However, the place had a different name when it started out as Singapore’s first Japanese themed community landscaped garden. It was simply just a themed Japanese tea garden was built for residents in 1970 along Queenstown road. This was as part of the Queenstown nuclear town housing project by the government’s Housing development board (HDB), or SIT as it was called back then.

Ridout road entrance
Ridout road entrance.

Furthermore, then, it featured a themed lush garden with two man-made ponds. There is a large pool with lights and a fountain. This has bridges and pavilions and a row of shop houses. However, a massive shop house fire in the vicinity broke out in the 1978, destroying much of the original garden. Henceforth, the Japanese Garden was rebuilt to the garden it is today in the 1990s. Still, the Japanese garden is nowhere as pristine or grand it is today like in the yesteryears. There is even a neglected moss-covered historical signboard sitting at the entrance telling of this story of the yesteryear.

Ridout info board
Entrance along Queenstown road
Carpark

Checking out the McDonald’s

Today, much of the park is converted into am open air carpark with anchor tenants being Far East Flora and McDonald’s Queensway. Let’s take a closer look at the McDonald’s with a dine-in.

Eateries at Ridout
Garden from McDonald
Outdoor dining

The McDonald’s fast food restaurant is an iconic long-time tenant residing here in Ridout. Notably, a Japanese restaurant sitting by the McDonalds entrance appears condoned off and shuttered (for good), even during peak lunch times.

Welcome to Ridout Mcdonalds!
Welcome to McDonalds, we have steps!

Moreover, this is also one of the few McDonald restaurants which has a row of steps leading up to the restaurant entrance. Hence it is not quite accessible as most modern McDonald’s today. Also, the McDonalds resonates with an old retro vibe previously a staple in older McDonald’s restaurants mainstay in the 80s and 90s. This ranges from the classic brown tiled floor and wall tiles, to the tall wooden doors at the restroom areas.

Interior dining area of Ridout Mcdonalds
Interior dining area of Ridout Mcdonalds.

In addition, the indoor dining areas comprises of a mix of a large square shaped dining areas. There is also a corridor-style tabled seating placed alongside the automated ordering machines and food counters.

Ridout Mcdonalds ordering counter
McDonalds ordering counter.

Garden pond

Additionally, the restaurant also offers a choice of indoor and outdoor seating. With the latter offering a view overlooking via an elevated balcony a Koi pond. Also, the pond is observed to be home to a number of tortoises, terrapins a couple of Pelco (sucker fishes) and traces of small koi. Pretty much home aquarium fishes, which probably found their home here after being abandoned by their owners.

McDonalds by the garden pond
McDonalds by the garden pond.

Here, an empty patch of clearing sits just outside the McDonalds. Notably, there is an access glass door leading to this outdoor area. However, the view here is one not what you call breath-taking. Rather, it is one covered in algae and neglect, especially on the open lower floors. Presumably this clearing probably used to house an outdoor seating area or even where used to sit a McDonalds kids playground. Such playgrounds was a mainstay in the fast food chains during the 90s.

Tortoises lazying at in the garden pond
Tortoises lazying at in the garden pond.

All in all, Ridout tea garden with a small eating house, tea kiosk and a smaller Japanese-styled garden. The good thing is that the establishment is here to stay, with McDonalds recently announcing they are renewing their lease over their planned closure late this year. Only time will tell will this place be around for longer, till then its one of the few more rustic old-school McDonalds you can find in Singapore today.

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