RESTAURATEUR Maheyndran Veerasamy could not sleep for a whole month in January.
The 50-year-old owner of Samy's Curry Restaurant was worried that he would be forced to move from his prime location in Dempsey Road when the site was put up for tender by the Singapore Land Authority.
With some 25 years in the area, Samy's had become an institution there and was synonymous with Tanglin Village before the rash of food and retail outlets set up shop there.
Fortunately, Country City Investment, which won the bid, asked him to stay on.
'I was prepared for the worst, so when I heard that we were allowed to stay on, I was very relieved. And yes, I slept well that night,' he says.
Now, after two months of renovations costing $200,000, his restaurant has reopened with new lighting and furnishings, but is still serving the same old banana leaf curry at the same old good price.
The only difference, it now has more neighbours. The former Civil Service Club is the latest lifestyle cluster in Tanglin Village.
Country City Investment, which opened the cluster of 16 restaurants and shops in Dempsey Hill in July, has spent some $3 million refurbishing the former clubhouse.
'We're extremely thrilled to have secured Dempsey Hill Green because it is visible from the main road and easily has the best frontage in Tanglin Village,' says Mr Nicholas Ng, 28, general manager of Country City Investment.
Indeed, the new tenants are already attracting crowds to an already-crowded village.
For example, the popular Long Beach Seafood Restaurant, just three weeks old, has been packed every night for the last two weeks.
La Fondue, a cheese and chocolate fondue restaurant, has also been opened in the area since early last month.
Opening soon is Karma Kettle and Rhapsody, which will have a restaurant serving traditional European fare with Indian influence, and a gourmet food retail outlet next door that stocks liquers, vinegars, olive oil and tea.
A new microbrewery, Red Dot BrewHouse, will open at the end of next month.
Its owner, Mr Ernest Ng, 52, who runs a construction business, says he took up homebrewing to distract himself when the construction business was experiencing a lull in the late 1990s. He became so passionate about it that he has started a microbrewery.
Customers can sample six types of classical brews such as lager, ale and wheat beer. There will also be modern Italian cuisine and char-grilled food.
The two non-F&B outlets in Dempsey Hill Green are Mandarin-language school Little Mandarins, which teaches Mandarin to students aged three to 12.
Those looking for some retail therapy will be able to look forward to One And Only Designer Collections, which stocks discounted apparel and accessories of the last season from Italian designer brands such as Dolce and Gabbana and Versace.
» The Village that grew and grew