When the Paper Bird restaurant closes its doors on August 3rd, it will become part of an alarming number of high-profile restaurants that will convene it in Sydney this winter.
Like many of the departees, the one-hat restaurant seemed to have it all – industry-wide reviews, awards, an all-day menu offer, cooking talent, floor polishing and a busy site at Potts Point.
Any number of reasons are questioned for the Sydney restaurant crisis. Oversupply, weakening of the consumption range, high rents, increasing consumption bills, lock-out laws, wage costs and opportunity costs. Make your choice.
"There are a few reasons, but the inconsistent trade is the biggest," says Paper Bird co-owner, Ben Sears. "It's probably not a coincidence that there have been half a dozen high-profile closures in Sydney in the last two months."
It was a difficult year for restaurants in Sydney, with the Bridge Room, Sotto Sopra, Longrain, Billy Kwong, ACME and Oscillate Wildly closed or closed.
They are closing for a variety of reasons, but the bottom line is that Sydney will be poorer for departures.
Paper Bird's unique modern riff on the flavors of Korea, China and Japan – and probably the most creative brunch in Sydney – is a loss to the city.
The looming shake-up of the city's hatted restaurants seems woefully set to include even a rising star.
Natalia Gaspari, talented lieutenant at Peter Conistis' Alpha, has thrilled the critics and picked up a touch in her first year at Ramsgate's Ble Restaurant.
Now Gaspari packed his bags and left the city, Ble closed the doors.
The queen of lobster ravioli and haloumi says that "the (working) collaboration didn't work as I had hoped" and moved to Melbourne, where she plans to open her restaurant.
A sign on Ble's store says it will reopen, but Gaspari says he won't be in the kitchen as part of a possible space restart.
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