Brown Sugar. Lox Stock & Barrel
The industrious brother and sister duo of Neil and Lianne Gottheiner are behind two of Bondi’s most popular haunts for foodies: Brown Sugar and Lox Stock & Barrel.
Lox Stock & Barrel, the more recent of the two, defines itself as a bustling, 40-seat deli diner located in a pocket of Bondi Beach. It’s open for breakfast and lunch seven days a week, dinner four times. Its philosophy is ‘farm to plate’. Brown Sugar, celebrating nearly a decade of trade, is a contemporary, chilled Bondi cafe by day and a relaxed candlelit bistro on its six nights of flickering ambiance.
Lianne takes up the story. “I’ve lived in Bondi for 20 years and spent a good time in corporate and also worked as a travel guide touring Asia. When I was running groups, I’d always choose the food areas to tour as I feel food really tells the story of an area. Back in Sydney I spent about a year doing events then with my brother we started looking for our own space and Brown Sugar came up.”
That love for food has been channelled into the two restaurants where Lianne runs the floor and Neil – whose culinary education took him to the gourmet giants France and Italy – takes care of the food. His style is based around traditional dishes drawing influences from the Mediterranean – healthy and hand-crafted plates using fresh, seasonal ingredients. “We are very clear on what each of us do,” admits Lianne. A weekly two-hour meeting is the time to exchange ideas and keep the business fresh. “You need to stay inspired and not get stuck in an instant. We recently updated our Brown Sugar menu as people’s tastes are changing and we like to be ahead of that.”
“The nature of hospitality, is that it’s hard work,” admits Lianne. “I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it but you have to learn ways to self-preserve, doing customer service, being ‘on’ all the time can take a lot out of you, so you figure out how to handle that over the long term.”
A key component of their success and overcoming the inevitable onslaught of fatigue is good recruitment and a strong support network. Their respective partners play a big role in the running of Lox Stock with Lianne and Neil having five children between them. “We have awesome staff at both places which is rare in hospitality. I think it comes down to the fact that we look after them well. They are encouraged to eat off the menu, to dine here, create a family.” Something which fosters camaraderie, respect and passion. “We find out what their plans are when we hire them. For example two of our staff have been sponsored, so you enter into a four-year relationship which brings security for both sides and the chance to share the same goals.”
Running one successful restaurant is demanding work, two is a considerable challenge. “It’s your own thing,” finishes Lianne. “You tap into your passions. It’s taken time and many years of sticking at it.”
Address 106 Curlewis Street, Bondi NSW 2026
Phone 02 9130 1566.
Fri – Sun: 8.30am – 2.30pm
Tues – Sun: 6.30pm til late
Lox Stock & Barrel
Address 140 Glenayr Ave, Bondi Beach NSW 2026
Phone 02 9300 0368
Mon – Sun 7am-3:30pm
Wed/Thu 6:00am – 10:00pm
Fri/Sat 6:00pm – 11:00pm
Lox is open for breakfast & lunch 7 days and dinner 4 nights a week