QLD_CM_NEWS_ARIA_14JUNE19
QLD_CM_NEWS_ARIA_14JUNE19

‘Bookings went nuts’: Aria closes its doors

Celebrity chef Matt Moran will close the doors of his iconic Aria restaurant in Brisbane tonight after a decade. But he'll go out on a high with the fine dining hotspot booked out for the past six weeks as fans flocked to have one last meal.

But the announcement also sparked the 150-seater restaurant's busiest period in a decade with every lunch and dinner service in the past six weeks booked out.

"Every service has been full," said Mr Moran

"Since we announced it you only have to see the amount of comments on my (social media) pages … people saying, 'I had my engagement there, my wedding anniversary there' and bookings just went nuts."

Mr Moran will be in the restaurant tonight for the final dinner service, alongside all the staff who have remained on, with almost all taking redundancies, including head chef Ben Russell, who has been in the kitchen since the restaurant launched.

To celebrate the end of an era, Mr Moran said he would be giving away mementos from the restaurant including books, glasses and plates to some of the dinner guests, before taking out staff for a few drinks after service ends.

Food at Aria restaurant, Brisbane City. Pic Peter Wallis
Food at Aria restaurant, Brisbane City. Pic Peter Wallis

"It will be a really sad time for people. People have been there for 10 years and it's nearly 10 years to the day," he said.

But Mr Moran, who also is behind Brisbane's River Bar and Little Big House, said he wasn't ruling out more restaurants in Brisbane.

"All good things come to an end and when one book shuts another one opens, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens long term," he said.

"There's nothing as yet, but who knows. I'll never say never."

Celebrity Chef Matt Moran at his ARIA restaurant, Brisbane. Photographer: Liam Kidston.
Celebrity Chef Matt Moran at his ARIA restaurant, Brisbane. Photographer: Liam Kidston.