Zero-waste chef Jo Barrett and partner David Osgood took over the Lorne Bowls Club on the Great Ocean Road back in 2022, opening Little Picket, a community-minded restaurant focused on seasonal cooking and local produce (sometimes donated by nearby residents).

Barrett has announced via an Instagram post this morning that Little Picket will close at the end of April.

“Dave and I have decided not to renew the lease of @littlepicket_lorne and will finish up at the bowls club at the end of April,” the post reads. “It’s been a funny one not knowing when and what to say to people because we felt with the current times people would see our choice as a negative ‘another one bites the dust’ situation. Also, we have been fully booked for a while, so didn’t want to disappoint people. It’s been hard owning a small business and running a restaurant, it’s not all sunshine however it’s also not all bad, it’s been absolutely incredible.”

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Barrett, one of the country’s most exciting chefs, says when the restaurant closes, she’ll be taking time to work on projects that “have been put to the side”.
“It’s a bittersweet situation and hasn’t been the easiest decision, but sometimes you have to take a chance,” she wrote of the closure.

Little Picket was a highly anticipated opening and marked Barrett’s first time striking out on her own after amping up the food offering at Yarra Valley’s Oakridge and working on Melbourne’s zero-waste Future Food System. Upon opening Barrett told Broadsheet she hoped Little Picket would serve as a community space, and that the opportunity to set up a four-acre market garden on a friend’s nearby property was what lured her to Lorne.

Little Picket, which is only open on weekends, has eight more days of trade and is fully booked.