Winnipeg's frozen pipes crisis could spell the end of the line for a Chinese restaurant in the Exchange District. 

Foon Hai restaurant has been without water for 40 days. 

The owner, Stanley Dare, said it's cost him thousands of dollars and he doesn't know when, if ever, he will be able to open the doors again. 

foon hai

Foon Hai Restaurant in the Exchange District has been closed since it lost water service due to frozen pipes March 3. Owner Stanley Dare is not sure when, if ever, he will open again. (CBC)

He said he's been in business for 30 years, and customers are constantly calling to find out what's happening, but he has nothing to tell them. 

"We've had our ups and downs but this year, I think is going to be the worst," he said. 

Since the water stopped running March 3, Dare has let six employees go. 

He said the experience has left him depressed and stressed, both emotionally and financially. 

"Once a restaurant goes dark, it's really hard to get it back up again," he said. 

SIGN at Foon Hai

This sign has been up on the door of Foon Hai restaurant since the water stopped March 3. (CBC)

Dare said the city did send a crew to thaw his pipes a few weeks ago but it didn't work.

Now, he said the city has told him it has to do excavation work before it can install a connection for a thawing machine, but that could take weeks.

And Dare has just discovered his insurance coverage doesn't apply to this situation. 

He just discovered frozen pipes are not covered by his insurance.

That may change in the future. 

Starting next year, homeowners whose pipes freeze will be able to get insurance.

Dare's insurer, Ronald Reider of Reider Insurance, said major insurance companies are preparing to offer the coverage.
"They are definitely offering, you know, coming out with for personal, for house insurance," he said. "It is definitely something coming out because of the situation. It was something that wasn't offered in the past."

Reider said insurance for businesses may follow. 

In the meantime, Dare said if he opens, he will be relying on his customers to help him recover from his losses.