Hospitality industry to flourish as Sydney CBD begins to rebuild

The Sydney CBD’s hospitality sector is set to be boosted by the return of workers to the office, as restauranteurs eye off new ventures.

Office occupancy rates more than doubled throughout the month of March, continuing the trend of double-digit growth in office occupancy since the start of the year, PCA data shows.

Retail turnover in March also showed a total annual increase of 9.4 per cent, boosted by strong performances by cafes and restaurants, who saw annual growth of 13.2 per cent.

“Despite being one of the hardest hit cities by government restrictions during the pandemic, the Sydney CBD is once again reactivating and returning to normality,” Colliers Director of Research Nik Potter said.

With the city’s revival well underway, restaurateurs are looking to take advantage by expanding into the CBD. Restaurant owner Michael So recently signed a new lease for a 1,000sqm restaurant at 259 George Street in the heart of Sydney, with it set to be home to Goji Modern Asian Cuisine Sydney.

Located at the former site of Bistro Guillaume Sydney, the lease was secured by Colliers National Director Steam Leung, who is already witnessing a resurgence in CBD activity.

“The CBD is getting better and better now that covid is under control and the disruption of the light rail is finally finished. With international travel beginning to return as well as the scrapping of hotel quarantine, the future is looking really positive,” Mr Leung said.

This is Mr So’s second restaurant following the success of Goji in Penrith, which specialises in Asia’s finest food and offers a unique bar featuring cocktails created by group drinks creative Quynh Nguyen. The restaurant will showcase some of the region’s finest handmade dumplings, noodles and meats, as well as a walk-in bar with dumplings.

“I’ve always wanted to open a restaurant in the CBD and had planned to open before covid hit so the timing is perfect for me,” Mr So said. “Everything is so different now with people back in the office. The CBD is buzzing it’s totally different to a year ago.”

“All the dumplings are hand made and the meat is top of the range. It will feature ancient flavours with modern cooking techniques and a French influence.”

Goji Sydney will open its doors on June 18, with an official opening to be held in September.

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