The District’s only Burmese restaurant, Mandalay, Closing in Shaw Thursday

9th and P St, NW

From Shaw Main Streets:


Washington, DC’s Mandalay Restaurant will close permanently on Thursday, May 15, 2014, at 8:00 PM. But not for any reason you’d think of.

Aung Myint, chef/owner, is closing the District’s only Burmese restaurant after only eight months due to two deaths in his family causing him to relocate to Burma to manage a family business. “Not only do I have to do this for my family, but there are 600 people who work for the family business. I really have no choice.”

Myint, whose family built and will continue to own the building where the restaurant is located, has chosen his restaurant’s successor, with details to be announced shortly. “It was very important to me to find a new operator and concept that the neighborhood would feel comfortable with, after we were so warmly received by the community,” Myint says. “I couldn’t leave it to a broker after I left the country. The concept will be announced by the new team shortly.”

Mandalay had become a popular neighborhood destination, and was featured in a DC Main Streets Metrobus and Metrorail advertising campaign that can still be seen on the city’s streets. After initially only offering a seven course tasting menu, Myint expanded the restaurant’s offerings to small plates on the ground floor and brunch on weekends. With hundreds of new residents moving to City Market at O and Jefferson Marketplace, Mandalay was set to hit its stride.

Then came the terrible news that two cousins, who ran a 50-year-old family tourism business in Burma, both died of natural causes during the course of a single month. “My family is simply devastated, and no one in Burma is able to step up to the plate and take the reins,” Myint explains.

Mandalay will be serving dinner on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night, then closing at 8:00 PM on Thursday for a final staff event.

The original Mandalay Restaurant in Silver Spring, MD, will remain open.”

CityPaper reports that the new Asian concept will be Dim Sum. Updates when they get closer to opening.

Ed. Note: Another popular Burmese restaurant, Burma, closed in December in Chinatown.

20 Comment

  • justinbc

    Wow, what a bummer. I had no idea they had ever changed from that silly tasting menu only approach, which was the main reason why we never went. (Nothing against tasting menus, I love them, but when you have zero restaurant cred and yours costs more than Little Serow’s does, you’re doing it wrong.)

  • Sorry to see Mandalay close. It always seemed empty, but the food was good.

    I’m pretty psyched for some dim sum, though!

    • I live a block away and thought it was always empty, too. One night I went in to pick up a carry out order (which was awesome) and saw that the patrons on the first floor are actually hidden from street view. The place was packed. I guess it’s nice for privacy, but it makes the restaurant look empty.

      I know they were planning on outdoor seating, too, with their awesome patio. They were just waiting for the permit to come through. Too bad. =(

  • Oh No! I’ve been meaning to go back the last couple weeks … this week it is! Sad to see Aung leave and the Shaw Mandalay to close.

  • Only one since Burma Restaurant closed in Chinatown just over a month ago. Never been to Mandalay but Burma was awesome

  • If you’re looking to get good Burmese food and need to go to Dulles, I highly recommend Taste of Burma in Sterling. The fermented tea leaf salad is incredible.

  • Oh wow, this is awful. Very sorry for the owner’s family. I’m happy to see that the location in Silver Spring will remain open, it is one of my favorite restaurants. I’ll be visiting there soon.

  • They never took advantage of the patio. I hate to say it, but I think a commissary – american fare and brews – concept would be the best use for this space. It really deserves to have great indoor/outdoor use.

  • “The original Mandalay Restaurant in Silver Spring, MD, will remain open.”

    Thank god.

  • Overdone and over priced. the waitstaff would hover if you didn’t go upstairs fir the tasting menu. In some ways it’s a concept that might work in 5-10 years when the area is more built out but noworever “turning the corner” but not doing anything to support unique merchants like this one. sthat’s f most people would have simple wanted a downtown branch of their DTSS restaurant. Glad the SS location will remain open, but it’s DTSS is one of those place

  • OH NOOOO I’ve been meaning to try this ever since Burma – one my favorite places period – closed. NOW where will I go?!

  • I’m still praying for the death of small plates everywhere…

    • Agreed. I never made it to this incarnation of Mandalay, and am disappointed that I missed it, but I liked the regular-plates version in Silver Spring (and before that, in College Park).

  • Going from Washington DC to Burma is going to be quite the change for the restauranteur.

  • My part;ner and I took friends there for dinner and were delighted with the food and service. Went back three times since and also for happy hour drinks. Such a great gem for the neighborhood and so sorry to hear about their closure. Hope that the family recovers and that they return soon.

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