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No-frills way iconic burger joint calls it quits

A passerby took a photo of the sign on Monday. Picture: Reddit
A passer-by took a photo of the sign on Monday. Picture: Reddit

One of Sydney’s fast-food favourites has closed its doors after nearly a decade.

Posting a sign to the door of its CBD venue, Mary’s revealed to customers that the burger joint was calling it quits after nine years.

“Closed 4eva!!!” the sign read.

“R.I.P. Mary’s CBD.”

The punk-aesthetic fast-food restaurant, which also has locations in Circular Quay, Newtown, Castle Hill and the Entertainment Quarter, announced via a tatty brown paper sign that its CBD location would be closed permanently.

“Thank you to every one of you,” the sign read.

“Love from the CBD Team and Mary’s.

“See you down the road.”

A passerby took a photo of the sign on Monday. Picture: Reddit
A passer-by took a photo of the sign on Monday. Picture: Reddit

The first Mary’s was opened in 2013 by Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham in a former Newtown STD clinic, the duo establishing a fast-food empire across Sydney in the years that followed.

With a community member posting a photo of the sign to Reddit, others soon began sharing their own experiences at and opinions of the dive bar-esque burger joint.

While many recalled their favourite Mary’s burgers, the general sentiment seemed to revolve around menu price hikes in recent times, with many commenting the food was “overpriced”.

“In their defence, wages, rent etc. all went up pretty dramatically in that time frame,” one person commented.

“The cost of living has skyrocketed and burgers should be the price they were eight years ago,” another wrote.

“Look at the amount of hospitality businesses that have shut down in the recent past.”

Other users pointed out the chain exuded a “fake punk” ambience and recounted claims of employee mistreatment made in recent years.

The owners came under fire for comments made on their podcast. Picture: YouTube
The owners came under fire for comments made on their podcast in 2020. Picture: YouTube

In 2021, employees at the restaurant alleged it had a toxic work culture, with one former manager claiming he was expected to work more than 60 hours per week.

Mr Smyth and Mr Graham made national headlines in 2020 after making disparaging comments in their podcast The Fat about the attitudes of young people in the workforce.

“It’s almost impossible to run a business now without offending somebody,” Mr Smyth said.

The duo later apologised for their comments, having said previously that the concept of “work-life balance” was one of the “most dangerous terms young people have been introduced to”.

Mary’s CBD restaurant has since been removed from the Mary’s Group website’s list of locations.

Mary’s has been contacted by NCA NewsWire for comment.