Matt Moran and Bruce Solomon will close the doors to ARIA this Sunday 21 August to commence a 10-week refurbishment.

They opened the iconic Australian restaurant in 1999, prior to the Sydney Olympics. The design was cutting-edge at the time, but Moran and Solomon have decided it’s time to give ARIA a new look.

The change has nothing to do with empty seats. “When ARIA opened it was a leader in fine dining. It still is and we’ve never been busier,” Solomon says. The team just wants to ensure it remains relevant for the next 17 years.

With the recent closures of Marque and Silvereye, it begs the question: is fine dining on its way out? According to Moran, the format is in no danger. “We won’t be moving away from fine dining at all, if anything, we’ll be upping the ante,” he says.

Leading interior architect George Livissianis (The Dolphin Hotel, Cho Cho San and The Apollo) is responsible for the redesign. ARIA’s updated look will echo the same classic and luxurious feel, but in a fresh and modern way.

A new colour palette and a mix of travertine (a type of limestone), leather, bronze and timber will be used throughout the 170-seat space. Simplified furniture, plates and glassware will be introduced to spotlight local artists and ceramicists.

The ARIA name and the menu (albeit a new large grill section) will be the only remainder of the old restaurant.

ARIA Sydney will re-open in early November for lunch and dinner, Monday to Sunday.