It's been 10 years since Nira Nugroho opened Gingergrass Thai and Vietnamese at 1284 Barrington Street, but she says it doesn't feel nearly that long ago. Tomorrow marks the restaurant's last day at the corner of Morris and Barrington though, a move spawned by the re-negotiation of her lease when its term was ending.
"The lease negotiation didn’t go the way the either side wanted it to," says Nugroho, adding that with a proposed 97 percent increase her business would have been impossible to maintain. "If I continued the way I work here, closing some days and between lunch and supper, the annual increase would represent 80 percent of my profit."
She's adamant that this isn't a closure though—Gingergrass is relocating, and she's in the process of solidifying a new place to call home. Her preference, she says, is to stay in the downtown area.
"I see it as an opportunity to make some changes and I’m so ready to move on," says Nugroho, who sings the praises of her neighbours and regular customers who've been supportive of the transition. "This will give me time off to decide what direction I'll take with the restaurant. When one door closes, a good one can open."
The move gives Nugroho the chance for a total fresh start, and with this in mind she'll be donating all of her current furniture and equipment to Ark Outreach and the Moncton chapter of Habitat for Humanity. After serving Gingergrass' last meals tomorrow, preparations will begin to move out of the building February 28. She says she'll keep curious diners posted on her progress and new location via the restaurant's website and Facebook page.
"It seems like just yesterday for me because 10 years passes so quickly, says Nugroho. "But I'm going to do it all over again, except this time with experience."