After a for-lease sign appeared earlier this year at the site of Toko restaurant, there's been plenty of conjecture about the future of the stalwart Japanese eatery in Surry Hills.
"The sign board was put up ... by the landlord and has since come down," says Toko owner Matt Yazbek. "We are presently renegotiating the lease terms."
With the restaurant about to reopen out of lockdown, its future in postcode 2010 remains a hot topic. With the end of Toko's lease edging closer, high-profile operators have also been eyeing the site.
Whether its future is in Surry Hills or elsewhere, don't expect Toko to disappear. Yazbek has aggressive growth plans linked to sites across town, including a location in the city (believed to be at the northern end of George Street).
"I cannot confirm that, however we are negotiating sites in the CBD," he tells Good Food.
There was also talk he'd cooled on the idea of a Toko branch in the currently hot restaurant suburb of Double Bay.
"Nothing is ever off the table. Just weighing things up," Yazbek says of that move. Stay tuned.