Tyron Simon doesn’t want you to think of this as a closure. Longtime isn’t going anywhere, he says. Still, that doesn’t change the fact you have just five and a half weeks to land a table at one of Brisbane’s most celebrated restaurants.
On November 2 Longtime will run its last dinner service before Simon and co-owner Frank Li relaunch the Fortitude Valley eatery as a functions venue. The following Tuesday, Simon and Li will open a new 90-seat restaurant, Same Same, in Ada Lane opposite The Calile Hotel — it will feature a very similar menu to Longtime and, Simon says, replicate the restaurant’s freewheeling charisma. (read Broadsheet’s preview story on Same Same here).
Since opening in 2014, Longtime has built a reputation as one of the country’s best modern Thai restaurants. It’s known for dishes such as its fragrant lobster curry, grilled beef short rib and whole crispy fish, and a fabulous Euro-centric wine list.
So why mess with a good thing? Simon says he and Li have long planned to open a functions space. At the same time, they were getting regular enquiries to hire out Longtime, which they couldn’t do at a price point Simon says he was comfortable with. “At one stage we looked at doing something upstairs at Longtime but the commercials didn’t quite stack up,” Simon said in a media release.
“We get lots of people trying to hire out Longtime and we can’t,” Simon tells Broadsheet. “[As] we sound like we’re too expensive, which [as a restaurant] we aren’t. Now [we’ll be able to] offer really good function options to people.”
Longtime will act as a functions venue for all three of Simon and Li’s venues: Same Same, Honto and the soon-to-open 22 Agnes. The space itself won’t change with regards to furniture and equipment, and an available food menu will be the same as Same Same (i.e. almost exactly the same as the current Longtime menu), but will otherwise be a “blank canvas” for guests to do with what they want.
Longtime’s last service will be on Saturday November 2 and it will be available for functions hire the following week. Same Same will open in Ada Lane Tuesday November 5 for a Melbourne Cup lunch before starting regular dinner service Wednesday November 6. A regular Thursday-to-Sunday lunch service will be introduced the following week. For more on Same Same, read Broadsheet’s coming soon story here.