It's au revoir to Potts Point's stalwart Mere Catherine

Mere Catherine in Potts Point has served its last French onion soup.
Mere Catherine in Potts Point has served its last French onion soup. Photo: Tamara Dean

With its thick curtains and permanently closed door, it was always hard to tell whether Potts Point's 45-year-old Mere Catherine was open for business or permanently abandoned.

But the pint-sized restaurant where you'd have to knock loudly or brazenly push your way through has closed its famed door for good.

Mere Catherine was opened on Victoria Road in 1974 by Monsieur and Madame Rouffiat, with chef Gerard Humair taking it over in 1984 and – aside  from a few years' break around the turn of the century and a move a few doors along the road – punched out record numbers of chateaubriand and onion soup.

In the course of a winter set to claim a record number of hatted Sydney restaurants, the quiet passing of Mere Catherine might not grab the attention of the online generation, but this early model of restaurant has had a lasting influence on our dining landscape.

Mere Catherine pre-dated and outlived Sydney's Olympics-era French restaurant revival. Its passing has been marked by a sign hung in front of its chequered drapes that simply reads: "MC 1974-2019. End of an era. Au Revoir."