Neild Avenue, the restaurant that polarised the Sydney dining public, closed on the weekend. Owner Rob Marchetti confirmed the business has been sold, but won't name the new owner because of a confidentiality agreement.
He isn't sure when it will reopen, but says the Neild Avenue name is part of the sale.
''I'm not sure if they'll use it, but it is theirs,'' he says.
The brainchild of restaurateurs Marchetti and Maurice Terzini, Neild Avenue made headlines from the time of its launch in late 2011. Much of the news was positive, but some focused on an approach to service that alienated some early customers. It was Sydney dining writ large, from the Carl Pickering interior to the big warehouse space.
It proved to be Marchetti and Terzini's final big project together, the restaurant ending up in Marchetti's hands when they ended their business relationship. Word got out last month (Short Black, June 11) that several parties were circling.
''It wasn't busting any records, but it wasn't doing badly,'' Marchetti says.
With his own restaurants, a gig with hotel group QT and restaurants opening soon in Bali, Marchetti argues ''something had to give.''
- Shannon Bennett in the mix for Opera House (more Short Black stories below)