One of the first, and maybe the only, Burmese restaurant in Montreal, held its last dinner service late last week. After a sharp rent increase, Ruby Burma owners Thet Thet Tun and Pri Lwan have decided to cut their losses and take leave of their modest space on the Main, below des Pins. Here's a Facebook statement from the restaurant.
Ruby Burma is sad to inform you that September 3 will be our last day operating at 3685 St. Laurent. We have reached a cordial agreement with the landlord to terminate our contract, as the monthly rent reached $9,000 starting from last April. Therefore, we have decided to halt our operations for the time being. Keep following our page and stay up to date with the situation - we strive to bring you back to our place for delicious traditional meals as soon as possible!
Ruby Burma's rent was $7,500 a month when it opened in late winter 2013. When asked if a busier restaurant could have salvaged the situation, Ruby Burma responded, via Facebook messenger: "This summer saved my life. Until June, I owed different people including the landlord and my cook. I was extremely worried as I knew I could wind up in bankruptcy. But sales in June, July, and August recovered all of winter's losses. Since the expenses are so high I am not paid at all. My health, both physical and mental, was deteriorating. September started to be a tough month, so before losing again, I stopped. It is the right decision."
Let's hope the restaurant bounces back somewhere else soon. The casual spot was one of Sarah Musgrave's most promising newcomers of 2013. The Gazette critic wrote at the time that while imperfect, the "place is very likeable, and it’s the good dishes that I am still thinking about."