Burmese Curry Place will be closing its doors in two weeks, due to a planned redevelopment of the Sydney building. Since opening in 2006, the civic fixture has been a staple for many students, due to its cheap, fast and filling food.
Nai Chan, owner of the Place, told the Observer: “The landlord doesn’t like this old building, he wants to redo everything and turn this place into a food court”, which would include the neighbouring vacant store. This change is part of a broader plan to redevelop and attract more activity to the city centre. Canberra CBD Ltd chief executive Jane Easthope, in an interview with Canberra Times last year, said the plan could “build street frontages that speak about being in the heart of the Canberra”,
Many ANU students, however, feel Burmese Curry Place is already part of Canberra’s heart. Chan exlained, “Lots of ANU students come here, you know; Malaysian students, Thai students, Burmese students- it’s a good place for them”. Chan promised they would try to find a new location in the Civic area, but he could make no promises, and was concerned about the store’s future.
The announced closure has prompted a wave of community support- mealtimes at the Place have become busy with Canberra locals looking for one last taste. Mandalay Bus front-man Stewart “Stu” Thuang raised publicity for the closure on the popular Mandalay facebook page last week. Stu told the Observer, “We need diversity of food in Canberra- Obviously we want to support them in any way we can.”