Ria Pizza & Wine in Potts Point closes

Ria Pizza and Wine at Potts Point.
Ria Pizza and Wine at Potts Point.  Photo: Edwina Pickles

The Potts Point pizza spin-off from the owners of Bentley Restaurant & Bar and Monopole, Ria Pizza & Wine, has served its last margherita.

The innovative pizzeria brought some of the fine-dining pizzazz of its operators – toppings included octopus and 'nduja and prawns, saltbush and XO chilli – but its time expired on the Macleay Street strip.

"The lease has run out," co-owner Brent Savage confirms. "We're handing it back to the landlord."

Ria's new-school green pizza with zucchini, pesto, feta and mint.
Ria's new-school green pizza with zucchini, pesto, feta and mint. Photo: Tim Thatcher

Ria was parachuted into the site in August 2020 to replace Monopole wine bar, which Savage and partner Nick Hildebrandt relocated to the city. The reviews were good at Ria, but opening a new-school Australian pizzeria during the pandemic proved challenging.

It segued into takeout, but as the lockdowns started to thaw and staffing across the group (which also operates the upmarket Cirrus restaurant at Barangaroo) became an issue, Savage concedes that, with the end of the lease looming, "Ria became a lower priority for us".

Its relaunch was delayed and delayed. It was time to move on.

But there's still hope for fans of its slow-fermented sourdough base, thick pillowy crust and Ria's pizza slice keyring "merch".

"It's possible we'll do it [Ria] again somewhere else in a larger space," Savage says.

So what next for the prime Macleay Street site? Savage declined to comment, but the talk last week from other hospo professionals on the eat street is the crew from Bistro Rex, a modern French place in Potts Point, has taken it and pizza will again be on the menu.