It’s been a long and arduous task, but the Sydney Opera House yesterday announced that it has signed a 10-year agreement with the Solotel group to continue operating the popular Opera Bar after a highly competitive public tender process.
The group includes principals Bruce Solomon, Anna Solomon and John Gallas from Solotel, and Matt Moran and Peter Sullivan from MorSul. Their winning and refreshed concept for the venue included all new menus, a charcuterie room, a raw seafood bar and a new cafe section at the venue’s southern end; • Better public access through the venue; • An extensive refurbishment aligned with the precinct’s heritage values
“We were impressed with the high quality of all the tenders in what was a competitive process,” commented Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron. “The Solotel bid was outstanding and the result will be a significant investment in reimagining the venue to enhance its status as a destination bar and restaurant. Solotel has operated the venue since 2001 and we’re delighted that Matt Moran will be taking a more active role in the venue.”
“We’re absolutely thrilled,” said Moran. “Opera Bar has been a tremendous partnership with the Opera House and we’re excited about taking the venue to a new level. There will be a greater emphasis on Australian produce, including a charcuterie, a raw bar and produce from my own farm.”
As announced last year, the Opera House is conducting public tenders for all its food and beverage contracts as they expire, as required by NSW Government procurement policy. The existing long-term contract for Opera Bar expires at the end of this month. All stages of the tender process were closely monitored by a probity adviser.
The refurbishment will be carried out in two stages. The first will involve a four-week closure of the venue, with the exact dates to be determined. The refreshed venue will be trading before the end of the year. The second stage of the refurbishment is scheduled to take place in 2015-16.