Superstar Howard Smith Wharves restaurant Arc Dining has closed permanently, it was announced in a statement to the media this afternoon. The closure was blamed on the escalating effects of the covid-19 coronavirus crisis.

“I’m devastated by the closure of Arc Dining,” head chef Alanna Sapwell said in the statement. “It’s been incredible to see the team grow and develop over the last year. I’m proud of them and hope we can work together again in the future. To meet and feed so many customers and to share this food with my home town has been a special experience I’ll always be grateful for. In this challenging time for the industry, if you can, please support in any way possible – order take away, buy a gift card or make a reservation for the future to prevent other restaurants forced to face the same choice.”

Arc is the first high-profile Brisbane restaurant to pin its permanent closure on the coronavirus outbreak. Since opening just over a year ago the restaurant has won plaudits for Sapwell’s thoughtful, innovative seafood dishes and an enormous wine list courtesy of award-winning sommelier Ian Trinkle.

The remainder of Howard Smith Wharves’ venues remain open for business, with some beginning to pivot towards takeaway.

“We have implemented a number of additional measures from hand sanitiser, increasing our already high sanitisation and hygiene standards, increased social distancing and introducing new takeaway options,” Howard Smith Wharves CEO Luke Fraser said in the statement. “We’re operating in accordance with the new government regulations, policies and procedures to ensure all our venues are a safe space for guests, our team and visitors.

“We are doing everything possible and leaving no stone unturned so we can bounce back once the crisis is over. We will continue to activate all of our outdoor spaces in the expansive parklands including the weekends on the lawn which will now run from Friday to Sunday.”