While the landmark Bennelong restaurant remains empty 8 months after Sydney Opera House’s ill-fated tender process saw Guillaume Brahimi depart (his new Paddington restaurant opened in July), the Sydney Opera House has had better luck with Opera Bar, with the current operators, including celebrity chef Matt Moran’s MorSul group, winning the tender for the perennially popular waterfront site for a further 10 years.
The decision extends their incumbency at the lucrative site to 23 years, dating back to when Opera Bar first opened in 2001. Moran can see the venue from his signature restaurant, Aria, at the end of Macquarie Street.
The joint operators, Solotel and MorSul, have promised a major makeover of the site, which will see it closed for a month in the lead up to Christmas.
Chef Matt Moran said that both the design and menu will be revamped as part of the winning tender.
“We can’t wait to reveal a new food concept including a charcuterie, raw bar and cafe, with a strong focus on the best Australia has to offer in the way of produce and drinks,” he said.
Meanwhile, his company, MorSul, is also offering functions in the vacant Bennelong site – an ironic situation, given that one reason Opera House management sought to change the space was criticism that Brahimi held too many functions there.
The Bennelong space is once again open for tender after the initial bid winners were forced to withdraw when their Melbourne restaurant, Stokehouse, burnt down.
Bennelong was meant to have reopened in May. The current delay, which will continue until 2015, is costing the Opera House at least $10,000 a week in lost revenue.
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