In January, Kylie Kwong unexpectedly announced she’d be closing her much-loved restaurant Billy Kwong after 19 years of serving modern Chinese food, first in Surry Hills and then in Potts Point.

She said she would continue to operate until a new tenant was secured for the existing Maclaey Street site, but would reopen a new dining concept later this year elsewhere. This morning she released a statement letting Sydney know the inevitable.

“Following on from our announcement earlier this year, today I can confirm that Billy Kwong’s last service will be this Sunday [June 30],” she said in a statement.

“I would again like to thank each and every one of the talented people who have worked at Billy Kwong, our customers, the producers and our loyal partners. You have all made Billy Kwong a truly special place and for this I will be forever grateful – thank you.

“Over the coming months I will share further details about the new venture which will bring together my love of food, family and connection to the broader community at-large. For now, we hope to see you all at Billy Kwong to celebrate our final chapter.”

Kwong told Broadsheet earlier this year it was a tough decision to make, but in the lead up to a milestone birthday it made sense. “I have 40 staff, 140 seats, and it requires everything I have to maintain and do the things I like in the way I like to do it. [Billy Kwong] is artisanal, it’s not a commercial operation. I like to write the specials, I like to run the food to customers and I like to make sure it feels like it’s a family. I’ve been a restaurateur for 19 years, I turn 50 this year and it’s time to change.”

We're not sure where her new eatery will be, but it will have the DNA of Billy Kwong and better align with these values. She says it will be bustling, casual and with a much smaller dining space, which will allow her to commit more energy to her passion for art and culture, as she does at Carriageworks, where she’s been an ambassador the past four years.

Billy Kwong opened in 2000 on Crown Street in Surry Hills, but moved to its Potts Point location in 2014. Over the years Kwong has become a passionate advocate of sustainable food and ethical eating, and the restaurant uses locally grown organic and biodynamic produce, with a major focus on Australian native bush foods. She tells us she will continue to intensify the collaborations with local producers and communities that Billy Kwong has become renowned for.

Billy Kwong will have its last service on Sunday, June 30. It is open for dinner from 5.30pm and all-day Sunday from midday until June 30.

billykwong.com.au