Restaurant News

Sydney’s LP’s Quality Meats is closing its restaurant

It will live on as a wholesale business, but co-owner Luke Powell has decided to cease the dining-in component of the smokehouse.

By Yvonne C Lam
After five years, Sydney smokehouse LP's Quality Meats, the restaurant, is closing. But LP's, producer of celebrated salami, saucisson and sausages will live on, with co-owners Luke Powell, Joe Valore and Elvis Abrahanowicz choosing to grow the business's wholesale smallgoods operation.
The Chippendale restaurant will hold its final service on 1 February 2020, and will then close for renovations that will see the rear space converted into a large, walk-in production coolroom. One side of the coolroom will be set at 12 degrees for the preparation of charcuterie; on the other side, the thermostat will be dialled down to 4 degrees to hang, cure and store their meats. ("We'll probably have to wear puffer jackets," says Powell.) The Southern Pride woodfired smoker, a fixture of the restaurant since its opening, may no longer work its magic on the barbecued smoked chicken (it's served as a half or whole bird), but will stay fired up for those fine smoked sausages.
For Powell, shifting from a dine-in focus to a "full-on meat-processing kitchen" is a natural progression for the business. When LPs opened in 2014, it was smoked-meats restaurant first, smoked-meats supplier second. But over the years, wholesale demand for LP's meats has steadily increased; its products can be found on numerous menus in town including Icebergs Dining Room & Bar, The Dolphin Hotel and A1 Canteen. Something had to give.

"We were running two business out of the same place, and it was time to go one way or the other," he says. A refurbishment has been on the cards for a while, with Powell constantly revising the blueprints. "One-quarter of the space was going to become a production room, then it became one-third, one-half," he says. "The architect probably hates us."
Post-renovations, some 50 seats will remain in the space. Powell has plans to open on weekends for retail sales; they've retained their alcohol licence, which means there's potential for low-key salami-and-cider sessions, the odd dinner here and there.
For Powell, a one-time head chef at Tetsuya's, it's not his grand exit from the restaurant business. He still co-owns the Newtown pizza place Bella Brutta, where you'll find LP's pepperoni and mortadella on the menu.
It's a bittersweet. LP's was the first restaurant Powell ever opened (heck, it's even named after his initials), but he's invigorated by the decision too. "I'm excited for it to grow," says Powell. "It feels a lot freer."
LP's Quality Meats will hold its final service on 1 February 2020.
Unit 1, 16 Chippen St, Chippendale, NSW, (02) 8399 0929,
Open Tue-Sat 5pm-late.
  • undefined: Yvonne C Lam