Ortiga and One Eleven – two of Brisbane’s most well known restaurants have closed their doors this month.
The closure of these two restaurants are just two more additions to a list of Brisbane restaurants and eateries that have closed over the passed year. One Eleven abruptly closed its door on the 9 October and Ortiga, who announced their closure on the same day, will have their last day of service on the 26 October. Both restaurants are well known in the Brisbane area as fine dining establishments and have grown into accomplished additions to the Brisbane dining scene.
Celebrity chef Philip Johnson, owner of One Eleven as well as successful Brisbane restaurant e’cco, says it came down to the restaurant just not generating diners.
“There were aspects of the business that did work, like the espresso bar. Downstairs, unfortunately, never achieved the numbers we needed to make it work.”
Perhaps this is an indication of the struggles that fine dining restaurants in Brisbane are facing. Besides the financial strains of rapidly increasing rent and penalty wages, there are cheaper alternatives and an expanding suburban dining scene generating stiff competition for inner-city restaurants, a more expensive option that is bound to suffer.
But Johnson is proud of the effort both he and his staff put into One Eleven, recently relaunched as a modern grill (formerly known as Bistro One Eleven).
“We surrounded ourselves with good people and we stuck to our ethos of quality, driven by the best produce available and for that we can be proud.”
Johnson thanks his customers and staff whose futures are uncertain, but he believes their skill will mean they will find their footing soon.
“At this early stage it’s hard to say what everyone is going to do. They’re all highly skilled people and I know some may already have found work at other venues. We will of course do everything we can to find placement for them where we can.”
Ortiga’s opened in 2008 and has since been highly revered, receiving many awards including a coveted Two Hats by the Brisbane Times Queensland Good Food Guide in both 2012 and 2013. Its closing came as a shock to many Brisbane diners.