MasterChef bar’s ‘heart wrenching’ closure

Alba Bar and Deli has announced it is shutting its doors. Picture: Supplied / Instagram
Brisbane-based Alba Bar and Deli has announced it is shutting its doors.

A popular restaurant founded by an ex-MasterChef contestant has made the “heart wrenching” decision to shut its doors – just a week after it was named Queensland’s best bar by a leading hospitality website.

In a post to Instagram, Brisbane-based venue Alba Bar and Deli revealed it would be closing as of Saturday, citing “economic pressures” attributed to rising costs and “little support”.

Alba was opened in 2019 – just ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic creating a nightmare for Australia’s hospitality industry – by Jamie Fleming, a contestant on the sixth season of MasterChef Australia.

Albas Bar and Deli in Brisbane. Picture: Supplied / Google Maps
Albas Bar and Deli (pictured) in Brisbane has announced it is shutting up shop, citing ‘economic pressures’ amid the cost of living crisis. Picture: Supplied / Google Maps
The venue became known for its ‘Brooklyn meets Barcelona’ vibe and was recently crowned Queensland’s best bar by hospitality website Boothby. Picture: Supplied / Facebook
The venue became known for its ‘Brooklyn meets Barcelona’ vibe and was recently crowned Queensland’s best bar by hospitality website Boothby. Picture: Supplied / Facebook

It became known for its “Brooklyn meets Barcelona” vibe, borrowing influence from the famed pintxos bars in the Spanish city of San Sebastian.

“We are a small team and always tried to offer the best quality service and produce,” Albas said in its Instagram post.

“Unfortunately with prices of everything going up and little support, there is unfortunately only one clear end.

“Economic pressures as well as having terrible timing with opening (you know what we mean) means we have had to make this heart wrenching decision. “

The restaurant thanked everyone who supported them through the years and offered a special thanks to the “hospitality industry at large.”

“We have always had huge support from those we respect and love the most, our peers,” the post continued.

“Without your support, Alba would have been another statistic and instead, we have been given the opportunity to swing for the fences and continue to hit the mark.

“It has truly been our pleasure serving, feeding, laughing and dancing with every single one of you. Whether we are a bar you eat well at, or a restaurant you get lit at we still don’t know.”

Albas ended the post promising it “won’t be the last you see of us”.

The venue was recently named Queensland’s best bar by hospitality and bartending website Boothby.

Despite being crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic, Alba’s battled through, selling takeaway cocktails in vacuum-sealed bags as a workaround to lockdown restrictions.

On its website, Alba boasts it serves up the “freshest of produce” accompanied by a “a perfectly curated selection of sherry, natural wine and vermouth” and generous cocktail menu.

Jamie Fleming was a contestant on the sixth season of MasterChef Australia. Picture: Supplied / Channel 10
Jamie Fleming was a contestant on the sixth season of MasterChef Australia. Picture: Supplied / Channel 10
Mr Fleming went on to found Alba’s, making it through the Covid-19 pandemic which led to multiple businesses shutting doors. Picture: Facebook
Mr Fleming went on to found Alba’s, making it through the Covid-19 pandemic which led to multiple businesses shutting doors. Picture: Facebook

“Both our food and drinks menus are constantly evolving with the season and the creativity of our team,” their website states.

“ Experience all of this against the backdrop of an understated hip hop soundtrack which will transport you straight to 90s Brooklyn.”

Alba’s closure follows a number of high-profile restaurants all over the country calling time on their venues amid the cost of living crisis.

In Sydney, Redfern’s Redbird restaurant announced its closure in early May, along with its sister restaurant Tequila Daisey in the harbourside suburb of Barangaroo.

Japanese restaurant Tetsuya’s that same month confirmed it will close after 35 years in the city’s CBD.

It comes as financial services company CreditorWatch reveals at least one in 13 Australian hospitality businesses are predicted to fail in the next 12 months, amid restaurateurs face a maelstrom of rising costs and reduced diner numbers