Fraser Short wins tender for Circular Quay East site

May 22, 2020
By Alana House

The Sydney Collective has been awarded the tender for the iconic 8 and 10 Circular Quay East sites, by Place Management NSW. 

Sydney Collective has reimagined social spaces including Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel, The Morrison on George Street, Imperial Hotel in Erskineville and the Balcony Bar, Byron Bay.

Owner Fraser Short will breathe new life into the Circular Quay East site, committing to undertake a million-dollar revamp.

To deliver the concept, which will be named ‘Whalebridge’, Short has again partnered with celebrity chef Sean Connolly to direct the kitchen.


“Sean is one of the most talented Chefs in Australia, I’ve worked with him for almost a decade at The Morrison and Balcony in Byron Bay and I’ve been a fan of his cooking for years before that,” Short said.

A former Good Food Guide Chef of the Year and star of his own SBS television series, Connolly also boasts his own empire of restaurants in addition to his partnership with Short. After leaving his two Skycity restaurants in Auckland last year, Gusto at the Grand and The Grill, which he was awarded consecutive one and two hats respectively for the past five years; Connolly has taken the role of Creative Director Food and Beverage for QT Hotels in New Zealand. He has also recently taken up residence at Wildflower Dining at Bells of Kilcare as well as leading the kitchens for Sean’s Kitchen in Adelaide; Bon Pavilion in Gosford and Steak & Co at West HQ.

Short said: “Sean’s work is a passion for wonderful produce and a love of simple, honest food. It will really play out well for customers.”

“We want to welcome Sydneysiders back to this part of Circular Quay and we want to ensure that most importantly the locals are inspired by what we are producing,” Connolly added. “If anything has shone through in these challenging times, it’s the quality of our homegrown produce. I plan on showcasing all of this with just a touch of French finesse and hint of romance.”

To assist in re-fitting the venue, Short has engaged award-winning firm Alexander and Co with architect Jeremy Bull at the helm throughout the tender and who will continue the design process through to construction.

Short has recently taken home a suite of awards for his work on the LGBTI icon The Imperial in Erskineville, including Best Restaurant at the NSW AHA awards.

COVID-19 closures mean Short will take over from March 2021.

Circular Quay East will be the ninth venue Short has added to The Sydney Collective family.

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