Aria Brisbane has announced it will soon close, citing the impending end of lease of the waterfront location. The fine-dining restaurant will hold its last service on 15 June.
"We have been privileged to have so many wonderful loyal guests, shared so many special occasions and milestones, and had the pleasure of working with such a brilliant and dedicated team," said co-owners Bruce Solomon and Matt Moran in a statement.
The Eagle Street Pier, which is also home to Rockpool Dining Group's Saké, is set to be redeveloped into two towers and a large public space by commercial property company Dexus.
"All good things come to an end eventually," says Moran. "With the expiry of the lease we decided to go out on top in Brisbane."
Aria Brisbane, the second outpost of the Sydney restaurant, opened in August 2009, and Moran recalls that although it was winter, it was an unusually sunny day. "We were all looking at the restaurant, and at the amazing view of the Brisbane River and Story Bridge and thought 'wow!' ," he says.
But the forecast wasn't always sunny. During a particularly severe storm season in 2012, Moran recalls floodwaters lapping at the door of the restaurant. "Thankfully, there was no significant damage," he says.
Aria Brisbane, which clinched 28th place in the Gourmet Traveller 2019 Australian Restaurant Guide, will celebrate the end of an era with a 10-course tasting menu of its greatest hits – including those fried Brussels sprouts.
It's unclear where head chef Ben Russell, who Moran regards as one of the best chefs in the country, is headed. And Moran isn't ruling out opening another Brisbane venture with Solotel, the hospitality group that counts Sydney's Barangaroo House, Chiswick and Courthouse Hotel in its stable. "It's business as usual for now," says Moran. "But never say never!"
Aria Brisbane's 10-year tasting menu is available from Tuesday 7 May to Saturday 15 June. Eagle Street Pier, 1 Eagle St, Brisbane, Qld, (07) 3233 2555, ariabrisbane.com.au