After the government announced a comprehensive, nationwide shutdown of all non-essential businesses from midday on Monday 23 March, fine dining establishments across Sydney – which has been hardest hit by the spread of COVID-19 – made the decision to shut their doors.

Among the list of temporary closures are Fink Group (Quay, Bennelong, Firedoor, Otto Sydney and Brisbane, Beach Byron Bay), Rockpool Dining Group (including Rockpool Bar and Grill, Spice Temple and Sake) and Bentley Group (Bentley, Monopole, Yellow and Cirrus). The Star Sydney has also completely ceased operations for now, with all of venues within closing until further notice.

Merivale’s Mr Wong will also close, with executive chef Dan Hong saying “To see the industry I love get shutdown overnight is f*cking devastating. We will ride it out and come back even stronger. But for now let’s stay home so we can get back to work as quickly as possible.”

Neil Perry also took to Instagram to share his thoughts, saying “Well, I never thought, after 43 years in the restaurant industry, that this would happen”, before adding “We have to try to stay in touch with each other, we have to reach out to governments to help us through this incredible time, this once in a century time, this once in a lifetime experience we’re going through… But if we stick together it’s going to be amazing. I can’t wait to reopen these restaurants.”

In regional Victoria, Dan Hunter’s Brae will also close for now. Ben Shewry’s Attica, in Melbourne, will continue to operate as a takeaway bake shop in the morning and will offer takeaway meals.

In Adelaide, Jock Zonfrillo’s Orana will close too. The Scottish-born chef lamented the decision, announcing his team will be on paid leave until “the bank account is drained or we can reopen our doors.”

Some, such as Chuuka and Momofuku Seiobo in The Star Sydney, made the call earlier, announcing temporary closures on Friday afternoon.

More to come.

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