Paperbark, bastion of plant-based dining, is closing

21 January, 2020 by
Madeline Woolway

Plant-based Sydney restaurant Paperbark has confirmed it will close its doors on 25 January.

The venue opened in August 2018 on Dank Street in Waterloo, with its owners Joe Pagliaro and Grace Watson.

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In an Instagram post, Pagliaro and Watson thanked Sydney’s dining public for their support over the past 18 months.

Pagliaro told Broadsheet there are practical reasons behind the closure—the space, which the duo didn’t have the chance to design themselves, wasn’t the right for the style of service. “It’s complicated [to explain], but the flow is such that you need extra staff,” he said. “We inherited the space, so [we] didn’t design it to fit the service style.”

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Paperbark has built a reputation for its innovative nine- and four-course degustation menus that showcase small producers, native ingredients and minimal-intervention wines.

“We want to highlight some of the powerful flavours that come from plants native to Australia, such as the smoke from cooking with paperbark,” said chef Joey Astorga when Paperbark opened. “We will create an array of textures and flavours, showing how exciting and creative this style of cooking can be.”

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The team is keeping it in the family, with another venue from plant-based hospitality group Zeitgeist (Joe’s Sandwich Bar, Verd, Brookland’s Coffee Co and Coffee Bondi Beach) moving in.

Peppe’s Osteria will be slinging vegan pasta in a much more casual environment from Friday 31 January. The pop-up iteration of Bondi’s Peppe’s will be a simple and fun experience with a lower price point than Parperbark. Joel Bennetts will lead the Waterloo kitchen too, with lasagne, gnocchi and lots of ice cream apparently on the cards. There’ll also be a well considered collection of the team’s favourite wines from Australia and Italy.

Image: Steven Woodburn via Broadsheet