A Fire Has Damaged Top Sydney Restaurant Porteño

Porteno. Photo courtesy @dbpixie/Instagram

Fire crews have extinguished a blaze that broke out at top Sydney restaurant Porteño in Surry Hills this afternoon.

Cleveland Street was closed in both directions between Crown and Elizabeth streets as around 40 firefighters used truck ladders to put out the blaze in the roof of the two-storey bar and Argentinian grill restaurant. Motorists were advised to avoid the area. Public transport along the busy corridor was diverted and running up to 30 minutes late for the home time commute.

Porteño is owned by chefs Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz, who also run the tapas bar Bodega in Surry Hills. The restaurant was closed, having relocated to the Sydney Festival’s Hyde Park Village as a pop up American-style restaurant, “Double Down Diner”, during January.

There was noone in the building and nobody was injured in the blaze. The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage.

Porteño is Spanish slang for a native of Buenos Aires native and pays tribute to Abrahanowicz’s family heritage. The meat is cooked on adjustable charcoal grills and open fire pit is used to slow-cook whole lambs. It’s on the site of the former Dimitri’s Greek restaurant and after opening in 2010 and was named best new restaurant by numerous publications and received two hats in the Good Food Guide. Milgate and Abrahanowicz were named the Guide’s chefs of the year in 2013.

The upstairs bar, Gardels, has also been named Sydney’s best bar.

The Porteño crew are also due to launch their own “food truck” tomorrow, a converted 1954 Chevy, serving barbecue in the Domain.

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