Is this the end for The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay?

Snapper pie straight from the oven at The Boathouse.
Snapper pie straight from the oven at The Boathouse. Photo: Supplied

With the list of Sydney restaurants not reopening their doors worryingly growing, one of the questions being asked on the city's eat streets is whether the home of Australia's most famous fish pie joining them? 

In the same week that Redfern Continental announced it won't reopen, The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay remains shut and fans of its truffle-scented fish pie perplexed.

The restaurant posted a rather permanent-sounding social media notice during the COVID-19 crisis: "We must follow many of our industry mates and announce the closure of the restaurant."

The 24-year-old restaurant was in the midst of negotiations over a new lease when the lockdowns came.
The 24-year-old restaurant was in the midst of negotiations over a new lease when the lockdowns came. Photo: Jason Davis

Staff have been paid out. The 24-year-old restaurant was trying to negotiate a new lease when the lockdowns came, a process complicated by the landlord's separate long-term discussions with maritime authorities over the site. Owner Tony Papas wasn't returning calls and is believed to have returned to his base in Europe.

The restaurant's chef, Colin Barker, says he'd love to take the site on as a co-owner if a new lease can be secured but has sensibly also been looking for other employment.

"It'd be a miracle if it reopened there," an insider told Good Food.