Sago Street (Chinese: 硕莪街）is a street located in Chinatown within the Outram Planning Area of Singapore. The street links Trengganu Street to South Bridge Road and has been converted into a pedestrian mall in 2003. Once a place home to brothels, it now houses food outlets, bars, retail shops and on the other side, there is a row of pushcarts selling a range of items.
Etymology and history
The street received its name because during the 1840s, there were numerous sago factories on the street. pith of the rumbia palm and made into flour that is used to make cakes. During the 1850s, there were thirty sago factories in the town which had a total output of 8,000 tons annually. Many of the sago factories were in the Sago Street area. In the late 19th century, the area was well known for its number of prostitute dens. By 1901, there were 14 brothels on the street alone. In the later part of the 20th century, the brothels vacated Sago Street and the shophouses underwent restoration in the 1990s. The Cantonese call the street "little temple street" because of the tua peh kong temple located there. The Hokkiens (Min Nan speakers) refer the street as gu chia chui hi hng koi cheng koi, meaning "the street in front of the theatre (street) in Kreta Ayer".
The funeral parlours are located on nearby Sago Lane and not Sago Street. However, Sago Street is always referred as sei yang gai or "street of the dead" in Cantonese. There are many cemeteries there.
- Victor R Savage, Brenda S A Yeoh (2004), Toponymics - A Study of Singapore Street Names, Eastern University Press, ISBN 981-210-364-3