You have four weeks to book into one of Sydney's premier Spanish restaurants before the doors close.
After a smashing first two years, a solid third and a tough last six months, MoVida restaurateurs Frank Camorra and Andy McMahon have followed in the footsteps of Moon Park and Marque and decided to close the doors to their Sydney outpost at the end of this month.
"There's no spin on it," says Camorra. "The restaurant just wasn't busy enough to keep operating, even though it was full most nights. Our business model needs a high turnover of tables to make it work, but lately the lunch trade has completely dried up." For the past 12 months the intention had been to relocate the Surry Hills restaurant and team to a heritage-listed smaller site off Martin Place, but development challenges including a hefty cost to implement extraction fans led to the plug being pulled on the plans.
Camorra is disappointed but says the team is still considering potential CBD sites and the busy Sydney domestic airport venue will remain, but with the Surry Hills lease edging towards an end, they took the opportunity to take up an offer of sale and concentrate on their hugely successful Melbourne restaurants. McMahon confirms they'd still love to open a MoVida Next Door-style spot in the CBD, "but every time we come across a site there's something not right about it. Plus, the rents are insane."
In the meantime, there's plenty happening elsewhere to tide over fans of Camorra's cooking. The MoVida brand has recently made its début overseas with the opening of a breezy, sophisticated restaurant in Potato Head Beach Club's new Katamama Hotel in Seminyak. McMahon says there are also plans to expand further across South East Asia and open restaurants in Singapore and Hong Kong in collaboration with the Potato Head group, potentially within the next two years. For now, you have until 29 June to book in for all the Cantabrian anchovies and jamón serrano you can manage.
MoVida Sydney's last day of service will be Wednesday 29 June, 50 Holt St, Surry Hills, open Tues-Sat noon-3pm, 6pm-midnight, (02) 8964 7642, movida.com.au/sydney