As one door closes, another opens

Scott Bolles

If the 2012 Sydney restaurant casualties have highlighted one thing, it is the steady nerves of new food operators willing to step up to the plate and fill the vacancies.

The old Becasse and Ortolan sites have new tenants, Berowra Waters Inn has a new team rebooting the old brand and now the former Balzac site in Randwick is set to join the party.

The Cook House will open in February in the old sandstone building on the corner of Belmore Road and Avoca Street where Balzac traded before its owner-chef, Matt Kemp, rebranded it Montpellier Public House, then closed shop. Ross Godfrey, who sold Newtown's Oscillate Wildly last year, is part of The Cook House ownership team, which includes David Milton, who was previously involved in a number of venues, including Kinsela's.

Godfrey isn't concerned by the history of the Randwick site.

''The Oscillate building had gone through four businesses in three years before we opened there,'' he says.

The Cook House will include a downstairs eat-in bar and a first-floor bistro.