Sydneysiders will say goodbye to Spanish restaurant, MoVida, at the end of the month, with owner Frank Camorra claiming the Surry Hills site didn’t align well with the business model.

The closure comes after four years of business, and while a MoVida Next Door was slated to open in Martin Place this year, the site has fallen through.

Camorra said that in hindsight, the Surry Hills location didn’t suit the MoVida concept, and that if he had his time again he would have been better opening in the CBD.

“I I think the main difference was foot traffic. MoVida is a bit of a destination;  people still booked the low tables, and they’d always be full, but it’s really about the bar aspect of the business – not necessarily the drinking, but the tapas aspect where people just pop in, have a glass of wine, a couple of tapas and there are things around that attract people. That happens in our restaurants in the (Melbourne) CBD but stopped happening here in the last year and a bit. So it was the foot traffic; it was a bit quiet at night,” he told Hospitality.

Camorra said Sydney’s CBD diners are happier to visit a few venues on a night out, whereas Surry Hills is more of a “destination” venue. Restaurants are also more centralised in Melbourne, which means greater foot traffic for foodservice businesses.

 “The Sydney restaurants are more fragmented … A lot of the restaurants – whether they be in the city or whathaveyou – are a bit more isolated than the restaurants in Melbourne I think, and so you get little villages or locations for restaurants in Sydney whereas the majority of good restaurants in Melbourne are in the CBD so they tend to feed off each other.”

Camorra will now focus on his three Melbourne restaurants, as well as the Sydney Airport eatery and the recently opened (December 2015) MoVida in Bali.

In regards to future endeavours, Camorra said he’d consider another Sydney opening, if the right site became available, “but it’s hard to find.”

“In Melbourne, I think we’re happy. There are three restaurants there now and I think that’s a good number. They’re all still really busy and consistent and doing well. So that’s good. We’re looking to do other things in Asia with the partners we have in Bali. So in the future, yes, but not at this stage.”


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