Little Jean is latest addition to revived Double Bay restaurant scene

Scott Bolles
Tasting space: Chef Julien Pouteau at the Stockroom at the Hotel Intercontinental in Double Bay.
Tasting space: Chef Julien Pouteau at the Stockroom at the Hotel Intercontinental in Double Bay. Photo: Ben Rushton

Five years ago you'd be hard pressed to find a restaurateur who'd open a car door in Double Bay, these days it's home to some of Sydney's hottest restaurant real estate. Little Jean is the latest restaurant to sign up.

The 80-seat bistro will open next March, in the new council car park development, with an interior by Smith and Carmody, the design crew behind Marrickville's Cornersmith Cafe.

Little Jean's owners, Chris Stockdale and Jeanette Woerner, have food runs on the board at The Paddington Inn and The Sheaf, and will be joined at the development by Mistelle Wine Bar and a sushi train, both opening mid 2015. With Sake restaurant headed to Cross Street along with a new restaurant jointly run by the co-owners of floating venue The Island and the operators of The Lobo Plantation in the city, the Double Bay postcode is currently hotter than butter in a chicken kiev.

While there has been some concern locally by Kings Cross operators scouting clubs in the area in a bid to avoid the state government's new lockout laws, the rebooting of empty restaurant sites has locals licking their lips.

Vine Double Bay general manager Mikee Collins says he's on track to swing open the doors at the new wine bar-restaurant in the old Zigolini's site this week, while the InterContinental Sydney Double Bay opens next month. With an interior by Rockpool Bar & and Grill designers Bates Smart, the Intercont's Stockroom restaurant includes a black and white "tasting space" and the kitchen will be headed by chef Julien Pouteau.

 "We want to feature the best of Australian produce," Pouteau says.