Popular Melbourne restaurant Gingerboy goes bust, chef calls for people to pay $60 a plate

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A popular Melbourne restaurant has collapsed suddenly, with customers who purchased vouchers or paid deposits on future bookings left to wait and see whether their money will be returned.

After operating for 18 years, Asian fusion restaurant Gingerboy was shuttered on Tuesday blaming “market pressures since Covid lockdowns”.

Gingerboy management revealed with “heavy hearts” that the restaurant doors were being shut permanently and the business was being put into liquidation.

“As a result of the closure any bookings from 2nd April 2023, will not be honoured and (sic) ask our customers to make alternative arrangements in respect of their dining,” Gingerboy management announced.

“As we begin the process of liquidation, we ask for your understanding and patience during this transitional period.

“In respect of any vouchers and deposits paid on future bookings, we are working with a liquidator on how best to deal with these and will update affected parties when we can.”

Brent Morgan from the firm Rodgers Reidy has been appointed as liquidator to wind up the business.

News.com.au has reached out to the liquidator to find out how many employees are impacted and what debts are involved.

Top Melbourne chef Teage Ezard, who was behind Gingerboy, said in order for restaurants to be viable customers may need to pay as much as $60 per plate.

“Wages have increased, power and gas, amenities have all increased – and the menus have not,” Mr Ezard he told Nine News.

“You pay for what you get … and I think … that’s what it costs,” he added.

Gingerboy management thanked people for their understanding during this “difficult time” and said they would cherish the memories they had created with customers, staff and suppliers.

“We want to express our deepest gratitude to our loyal customers who have supported us throughout the years. Your patronage and kind words have meant the world to us and we are truly grateful for your continued support,” they said.

“To our dedicated staff, we want to thank you for your hard work, dedication and passion for the restaurant industry. Your commitment to providing exceptional service to our customers has not gone unnoticed and we are grateful for the memories we have shared together.”

Customers shared their sadness about the restaurant’s closure.

“Gutted to hear you are gone. I would always dine with you when in Melbourne. 4 nights in a row once. I loved it! The food, the staff, the service! It’s a very sad day. Good luck to you all and rise again,” wrote one person.

“So sorry to see you are closing, devastating times,” shared another.

One person said they had been dining at Gingerboy since 2007. “Loved it then and loved it now. Food has always been spectacular. Have always passed the word on about your fine restaurant,” they added.

It comes as Australia’s hospitality scene has been pummelled in recent months against the backdrop of the cost of living crisis.

A fine dining restaurant chain that sold steak for as much as $500 a piece and spanned across three Australian states also went bust on Tuesday.

Hospitality business Good Group Australia, which operated the Botswana Butchery chain and three other Asian restaurants, plunged into administration.

Botswana Butchery had high-end steakhouses in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra in prime locations.

Just last week, news.com.au reported that another steakhouse had gone under.

Six restaurants in Sydney, which comprise the steakhouse chain Elements Bar & Grill, went into administration in March, putting 180 jobs in jeopardy.

Another Sydney restaurant chain, Bondi Pizza, put three of its sites into administration last month, with either a sale of restructure of the business being considered. There are 120 jobs on the line.

The news follows the recent collapse of a popular Oporto in Sydney’s Newtown, with the ATO forcing that business to either pay half a million in back taxes or shut its doors.

Late last year, arm of major Victorian catering business, Legacy Hospitality Group, went bust in October with debts in excess of $1.7 million.

sarah.sharples@news.com.au

Read related topics:Melbourne