Bills Darlinghurst, the iconic Sydney cafe that popularised brunch in Australia, will close at the end of today. A reopening date has not been set. Its counterparts in Surry Hills and Bondi will remain open as usual.
Founder Bill Granger made the announcement via Instagram. “There’s been a lot to grapple with these past few months and we think it’s best to close Darlinghurst for a while to focus on Surry Hills and Bondi,” he said. “We will be closed from the end of service on Sunday, 20th September, and look forward to seeing you all at Bondi and Surry Hills for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
Granger has published a dozen cookbooks and operates four cafes in London, one in Honolulu, one in Seoul and four in Japan. Japan’s newly appointed prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, this month told The Nikkei that he eats Granger’s fluffy ricotta hotcakes “three or four days a week”.
All this sprang from that first location in Darlinghurst, opened in 1993, when Granger was just 23. Despite no formal cooking training, he quickly drew crowds with his ricotta hotcakes, corn fritters and scrambled eggs (which the New York Times later anointed the world’s best). Bills is also credited with popularising – if not outright inventing – smashed avocado on toast. Ditto for the communal cafe table.
Such elements are now integral to the laidback “Australian-style” cafes renowned from New York to Tokyo. Without Bills, the country’s cafe scene would look very different indeed, and perhaps may never have moved on from the espresso bars and greasy diners that came before.
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Firstly, a big thank you to everyone, for supporting us and our teams so amazingly during this time. Obviously, there are lots of restrictions that make life that little bit tougher. Restaurants are not made for social distancing! There’s been a lot to grapple with these past few months and we think it’s best to close Darlinghurst for a while to focus on Surry Hills and Bondi. We will be closed from the end of service on Sunday, 20th September, and look forward to seeing you all at Bondi and Surry Hills for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A big thank you for your ongoing support and kind words, it’s kept us all energised and passionate about what we do. Bill