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Guillaume Brahimi to Sail from the Opera House

Is casual dining on the way to Sydney's most spectacular location?

By Rima Sabina Aouf
July 02, 2013
By Rima Sabina Aouf
July 02, 2013

The trend may be for live venues to open casual eateries, but if there was one place we thought would stay posh to the last, it was the Sydney Opera House. Yet now its tenant of 12 years, the illustrious Guillaume Brahimi, has announced he will not be submitting a tender for the site this year, leaving its million-dollar views open to those with a ten-buck ambition.

"Our goal was always to run one of the best restaurants in the country, befitting such an iconic venue," said Brahimi in a press release. "The Opera House Trust is now seeking a bistro-style restaurant, cafe and bar. This clearly involves a very different vision."

He said it had been their privilege to serve over half a million guests since Guillaume at Bennelong opened in 2001. The restaurant is a Sydney icon and has won 25 hats from the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide over the years, currently holding two.

However, Brahimi's formal establishment is also a 'special occasion' restaurant for most, so it's understandable the Opera House Trust might seek something more capable of catering to the diverse audiences who visit for opera, theatre, concerts, festivals and talks. The Sydney Theatre Company now has its all-accommodating Bar at the End of the Wharf and Carriageworks has the cool Cornerstone (both operated by Fresh Catering) — will the Opera House swing the same way?

Meanwhile, Brahimi isn't disappearing; he and his team are making busy plans that will be announced in the coming months, so we hope to see them emerge in a new incarnation in Sydney soon. Until then, you have six months to enjoy Guillaume at Bennelong before they shut up shop at the end of 2013.

Published on July 02, 2013 by Rima Sabina Aouf
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