Neutral Bay's eat street credentials took a hit on the weekend with the closure of one of its prized new-generation restaurants, Neutral Bay Diner.
Adding insult to the lower north shore food hub, its chef and co-owner Alex Kearns will transfer his talents to a new venture opening in the go-to food suburb of Alexandria.
The chef says while weekend business in Neutral Bay was strong, finding mid-week clientele proved a tougher proposition.
"The option for the lease was up, we either ploughed ahead or closed. I'm in the camp that it was time [to move on]," he says.
Despite good reviews, Neutral Bay Diner wasn't the success story of its sister restaurant, Glebe Point Diner.
Kearns' new spin-off venture will attempt to take his trademark home-style restaurant food direct to a domestic environment. Kearns Food will open near the Grounds, on Bourke Road, Alexandria, in July.
"The first stage will be home-delivered food. It might be slow-roast pork shoulder with coleslaw and hot pickles. In September we'll open a retail outlet with a cafe," he says.