John Duncan, managing director of Sydney hospitality group Keystone, this week revealed plans to bring Martin Boetz – who runs the Cook’s Co-Op on the Hawkesbury River in Sackville after farewelling his time at Longrain – onboard for their new venture, the refurbishment of the space that previously housed Rob Marchetti’s Neild Avenue in Rushcutters Bay.

Keystone’s portfolio includes an ever-growing list of venues throughout the city, such as The Rook on York Street, The Winery in Surry Hills and The Newtown Hotel, and the acquisition of the Neild Avenue space is a significant undertaking for the group. When speaking to Broadsheet, Duncan commented that the space “has such amazing proportions [and the potential] to be the ultimate venue. Rushcutters Bay is a great location given its close proximity to the CBD and the rest of the eastern suburbs – there's a lot going on there at the moment.”

Keystone has been in conversation with Martin Boetz for some time about the proposed venture, and his involvement has just been confirmed. The Cook’s Co-Op will be supplying the majority of the venue’s produce (the restaurant is yet to be given a name) and Boetz will work closely with the head chef (yet to be confirmed) and will be, as he put it, “writing menus and recipes using my Northern European knowledge”. Boetz will essentially act as a conduit between the various farmers, suppliers and the restaurant. He also cited his German heritage as the inspiration for the menu, which will also draw from northern Italy and Scandinavia.

Both Duncan and Boetz are committed to “supporting the farmers by creating an incredible venue that uses their produce, ultimately showing Sydneysiders that there is fantastic produce less than 100 kilometres away”, commented Duncan, with Boetz adding that the produce would include “a great supplier of whole preserved cabbages, blood sorrel and lambs lettuce [and] the best goat’s curd I have ever tasted”.

Duncan also mentioned that the price point will be accessible, in the hope of drawing in the local crowd. In terms of design, the fit-out will be led by Keystone’s creative director, Paul Schulte. The space is expected to be a comfortable, pared-back version of its former self.

Set to open mid-October, we’re looking forward to seeing the venue unfold.