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Olfactory Inn owners call last service

Restaurants

The Olfactory Inn in Strathalbyn will close at the end of October, with its owners calling time on the small stone-cottage restaurant that has notched up numerous successes over the past four years.

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Simon Burr (head chef) and Lauren Alexander (front-of-house) put the restaurant up for sale at the beginning of July, but with no buyer yet found and the two both keen to move on, they have decided that October 27 will be their last service.

In a Facebook post yesterday announcing the “end of an era” and encouraging diners to visit between now and the closure, Alexander says there have been “proud moments, growth and rewarding exhaustion” since she and Burr opened The Olfactory Inn in November 2015.

“Differing horizons emerged for Simon and I twelve months ago – the result now is our time is up with The Olfactory Inn.

“We found our feet in our 20-seat restaurant we built from scratch in Strathalbyn. It will be four years… It brought my childhood dream alive and Simon’s perfect kitchen into a mecca for eating local. A dining community surround us that love what we do as much as we love doing it.”

With an innovative menu championing regional produce, the restaurant has garnered numerous accolades, including being named best regional formal contemporary Australian restaurant in the SA Restaurant & Catering Awards for Excellence and earning four out of five stars in a review by The Australian’s tough restaurant critic John Lethlean.

As InDaily reported earlier this month, Burr has now been appointed head chef at the Hotel McLaren after it was bought by the Palmer Hospitality Group, which also operates 2KW Bar and Restaurant, The Highway, The Warradale, the Morphett Arms and the recently opened Paloma Bar and Pantry on Peel Street.

“It certainly jerks at the heart a bit, but on the other hand it’s been a marvelous four years,” he said this morning of the decision to call last service at The Olfactory Inn.

Burr, who is currently in the process of buying the building that houses the restaurant, says the business itself is still for sale, with the option for new buyers to continue operating it under the same name or as a different venue.

“I really like Strath and I have a lot of belief in it,” he says.

“I would like to see it stay as a restaurant, because I just don’t think we need another café in Strathalbyn … I think it needs a restaurant, but I’m open to everything.”

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