Brisbane's Ortiga restaurant has been sold.
The fine diner, which closed in October, is expected to re-open in March with a new name and a more casual focus.
The new lessees of the Fortitude Valley site are Godfrey and Jenny Mantle, founders and directors of Mantle Group, who count The Pig and Whistle pubs, Jimmy's on the Mall and the Phuc Deli-Viet at Indooroopilly among their hospitality portfolio. The couple purchased the Fortitude Valley business in January and have big plans for the iconic site.
"It's such a wonderful space," Mr Mantle said. "The exposed brick, large windows and general layout and feel of the restaurant is just marvellous. It's a fantastic blank canvas to provide a new and exciting opportunity for local residents and visitors to Brisbane's inner city."
But don't expect the fine diner model to be replicated; Mr Mantle is creating an altogether more casual venue.
"We won't be opening it again as Ortiga or a similar fine dining restaurant," he said.
"It will be a fresh new offering that will focus on good honest food, great beers and wine and strip back to what we do best – providing a social, welcoming and enjoyable space enjoyed by customers of all ages and demographics."
Mr Mantle said that he appreciated the heritage architecture and history of the building and that there wouldn't be major changes to the interior.
The Mantles are keeping mum about the name but the new venue will be led by the group's CEO Arj Rupesinghe and executive chef Deniz Coskun (ex-Brett's Wharf). In addition to the upstairs bar area and downstairs dining area, they intend to make use of a street level courtyard that will seat another 120 in addition to footpath dining and are aiming to open in March.
The Mantle Group is also set to open a microbrewery, in conjunction with James Squire, at South Bank later this year.