Gazebo Wine Garden, Kings Cross. SMH GOOD LIVING Photo by Marco Del Grande SPECIALX 58726
Keystone, which owns Gazebo Wine Garden (above) and a host of other Sydney venues, is rumoured to be the new owner of Neild Avenue. Photo: Marco Del Grande

Scott Bolles

The identity of Neild Avenue’s new owner is a tightly guarded secret that has gripped the Sydney food scene in recent weeks, but we might have cracked it.

Short Black has interrogated a list of the usual suspects, ruling them out one by one. Outgoing Neild owner Robert Marchetti wasn’t much help, saying he was bound by contract not to name the incoming owner of the Rushcutters Bay restaurant, only offering the hint it was a group rather than a person.

We sent out our truffle dogs, they’ve had a sniff and they’re back in the kennel. The intel points toward the Keystone Group, operator of a host of venues including Gazebo Wine Garden and currently on a spending spree across Sydney.

“I can’t confirm or deny at this stage,” a Keystone spokesman replied when asked if the group was headed into the Neild Avenue space.

Word on the street is Keystone has teamed with a couple of high-profile names to assist with the venue, if indeed it is now under its control. And it is starting to sound that way.