Two popular Brisbane restaurants situated side-by-side and run by the same people have announced they are shutting down over a landlord dispute.
La Quinta Mexican Cafe and Bar and Amante Tapas and Vino, along Oxford St in the busy inner city Brisbane suburb of Bulimba, will soon cease to operate.
On Monday, co-owners Jeanie Smith and Nev Scott – who is also La Quinta’s head chef – announced via their restaurants’ social media accounts that both venues would have their last shift on January 22.
La Quinta has been an icon on 189 Oxford St for 18 years. The other restaurant, Amante, is much newer, having opened in February 2021.
The couple said they made the announcement “with a heavy heart” and that never in their “wildest dreams” did they imagine it would come to this.
Mr Scott and Ms Smith revealed the reason they had little choice but to close boiled down to a an uncertain future because of the new landlord who had taken over their venue.
“This decision is due to the uncertainty surrounding the proposed demolition of our building,” they wrote.
In August last year, Brisbane developers Cielo Group lodged a development application with the local council which detailed plans to convert 187-193 Oxford St into a three-storey mixed-use building on the shopping strip with new restaurants, shops and a luxury rooftop pool and bar.
La Quinta Mexican Cafe and Bar and Amante Tapas and Vino both fell under the area for the proposed change.
Ms Smith told the South-East Advertiser: “We got a notification in August last year that the buildings both the restaurants are in had been sold,” she said.
“We still have no resolution so we couldn’t afford to take the risk without being able to guarantee our staff the future of the restaurants.”
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The restaurant owners thanked their staff for many years of success.
“I owe a huge amount to all the staff past and present who have made La Quinta what it has been. Many of those past staff still call in and say hi and grab a margarita from time to time such is the longevity of our friendships,” Mr Scott and Ms Smith wrote.
“Our current core staff have been with me for up to seven years across multiple venues and their decisions to move on has been hard to take personally yet understandable.”
The pair hinted at making a comeback, saying they don’t plan to throw in the towel for good.
“Stay tuned to our socials for updated trading hours and any other big announcements,” they wrote.
“Our intentions are to not be gone for long so watch this space.”
Another popular Brisbane eatery was also forced to close in recent weeks, though for entirely different reasons.
In early December, a bakery called Bella and Tortie served its products to customers for the last time after being unable to find enough staff to keep the operation running.
The company’s sole owner, Suzi Unwin, often worked more than 12 hours a day, sometimes every day in the week from lack of staff amid skills and labour shortages.