A growing typhoon of business pressures has claimed a big scalp in the Sydney CBD, with Mike McEnearney's No.1 Bent Street in the hands of administrators.
The former Rockpool head chef explains a growing storm that started with disruptive light rail work has affected businesses in the city, but he remains confident his celebrated restaurant can survive.
"We're trading through to December 22 and plan to reopen on the second of January … we're looking after all the staff," he says.
Creditors will meet on Tuesday, December 11, at the offices of HoganSprowles, where a clearer financial picture will emerge, but McEnearney is hopeful a deed of arrangement can be struck and the restaurant can continue.
"It started with the light rail, then Barangaroo sucked a lot of people away. We've had 17 buildings knocked down which has impacted the sheer body mass in the area," he says.
"People aren't looking for an expensive lunch in the city anymore," he adds.
With tweaks and more promising signs on the light rail front he's hopeful of a CBD bounce back in 2019.
"It's business as usual," he says.
McEnearney stresses it doesn't affect his other projects.