Wed. May 25th, 2022

Israeli chef Michael Rantissi will close Kepos & Co next month after seven years of live breakfasts, lunches and dinners in the Danks Street room. The lease on the restaurant is due to expire, and as Rantissi explains, the toll the pandemic has taken on hospitality was in mind in his decision.

“The last two years have been too much up and down. To go for another seven years of ups and downs, it’s too chaotic,” he said.

The sister site Kepos Street Kitchen in Redfern will remain open, and the cut will allow Rantissi to focus on the original as well as some new iron in the fire.

Kepos & Co was the adult sibling of Kepos Street Kitchen.

Kepos & Co was the adult sibling of Kepos Street Kitchen. Photo: Christopher Pearce

The store’s catering and retail department will soon have a dedicated commercial kitchen in Rosebery. During the lockdown, Kepos won many fans with its mix of takeaway mezze, finish-at-home options such as chermoula roast chook and delicacies to kick-start homemade food.

Rantissi hopes to have the new kitchen open in June and suggests that there will also be “some kind of eatery, but not in the form of a restaurant”.

The Kepos presence at Carriageworks Farmers Market may also be called, with the potential to trade in other farmers’ markets around Sydney.

Kepos Street Kitchen's mezze boxes were popular during the lockdown.

Kepos Street Kitchen’s mezze boxes were popular during the lockdown. Photo: Harriet Davidson

As for a new restaurant, Rantissi will never say never. But Melbourne may be the next place he plants the flag, talking about a project sometime in 2023.

“It’s an exciting year, I think,” he says. “Sad in one form and exciting in many other ways.”

Together, Kepos Street Kitchen and Kepos & Co have left a tahini-infused touch in the dining room of Sydney, combining the generosity, history and cosmopolitanism of the Middle East and North Africa and translating it into an Australian setting. Where Kitchen was small, humble and a cafĂ© at heart, Co brought a formality to Rantissi’s food, underlined by a far-reaching menu of wood-fired dishes.

Kepos & Co will continue to shop for dinner five nights a week until it closes on February 19th.

Shop 5, Casba, 18 Danks Street, Waterloo, 02 9690 0931,


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