Brisbane diners were left reeling today at the news two top restaurants would be closing their doors. Respected owner-chef Philip Johnson pulled the shutters at his 80-seat, city-based, Bistro One Eleven on Wednesday morning.
Ortiga's owner Simon Hill confirmed the same day he wouldn't be renewing the lease on his award-winning Spanish restaurant in inner-city Fortitude Valley.
Ortiga's final service is slated for 26 October.
In a statement, Hill said the past five years had seen huge changes to the restaurant industry, including changes to industrial relations which couldn't be ignored.
He would rather move on than downgrade the current offering "into possibly a more viable future business".
Johnson blamed a variety of factors, including the tough dining market, for the closure of Bistro One Eleven.
He said he was proud of the restaurant, which had stuck to its ethos of quality driven by the best produce, but had run out of ideas and could no longer support the business.
Last month Bistro One Eleven's menu was completely redesigned to focus more on grill-style fare. This move had attracted more diners, but it hadn't turned the tide.
"The pressure is on to do the numbers all the time. We have 80 seats and there are 4,500 people in the building. We thought we'd get at least 50 or 60 a day."
He will now concentrate efforts on E'cco Bistro, which is still trading strongly and celebrated its 18th birthday in August.
Johnson says he will also "do right" by Bistro One Eleven's suppliers.
Bistro One Eleven opened its doors at Eagle Street in the $700-million, Cox Rayner-designed 111 Eagle Street development, One One One, last September.
Simon Hill opened Isis on the site where Ortiga now stands in 1997 and Ortiga launched in 2010. He is moving on after 16 years at the same location.