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NSW Success Stories – Bart Jr.

George Woodyard, Owner of Bart Jr. CREDIT: Destination NSW

George Woodyard sitting outside BART-MART at Bart Jr. Redfern

#ilovesydney

NSW Success Stories
– Bart Jr.

George Woodyard, Owner of Bart Jr. CREDIT: Destination NSW

George Woodyard sitting outside BART-MART at Bart Jr. Redfern

#ilovesydney

Hashtags #ilovesydney

Bart Jr’s lockdown lobster rolls were meant to be just a one-off special, but after their first batch sold out in just one hour, chef and owner George Woodyard realised the people of Sydney needed more. “I had about 50 people on Instagram message me asking if they could pre-order for next time, and so many people came by afterwards and said, 'please do it again’,” Woodyard says.

Since this most recent lockdown began, Bart Jr, Redfern’s slick neighbourhood wine bar, pivoted from a nighttime diner to the lunchtime BART-MART, selling ready-to-eat dinner meals, natural wine, takeaway cocktails and groceries from midday to 3pm. To capitalise on this lunchtime window, Woodyard introduced takeaway toasties and daily lunch specials as an extra enticement for those picking up dinner. Though intended as a one-time thing — “something a bit decadent, a treat for lockdown” — the lobster rolls can now be pre-ordered for lunch every Friday, preventing the queues that stretched around the block the first time.

With lobsters selling cheap due to the pandemic’s drop in international trade, this was Woodyard’s chance to sell a lobster roll and make it accessible for the community. “Lobsters have probably dropped about 30 per cent in price, which for us means I can do this roll and charge $28 instead of $38,” Woodyard says. With the sweetness of the lobster and the pop of saltiness from NSW’s Clarence River king prawns, plus a saucy hit of horseradish, mayo, tarragon and chives, the rolls sell out on her pre-order system in just 24 hours and Woodyard has had to cap them at 110 orders each day. “There is big demand. We could do them every day but having them only on Friday works for us,” she says.

Bart Jr's Lobster Roll CREDIT: Destination NSW

Lobster Roll from Bart Jr. Redfern

#ilovesydney

Bart Jr's Lobster Roll CREDIT: Destination NSW

Lobster Roll from Bart Jr. Redfern

#ilovesydney

Bart Jr's Smokey Marg CREDIT: Destination NSW

Smokey Marg from Bart Jr., Redfern

#ilovesydney

Bart Jr's Smokey Marg CREDIT: Destination NSW

Smokey Marg from Bart Jr., Redfern

#ilovesydney

Now with a cult following, the lobster rolls are making up about 20 per cent of Bart Jr’s weekly revenue. Bart Mart has also seen great success with its ready-to-eat meals: their lasagnes get snapped up fast; their weekly date-night packages (a three-course meal with two cocktails) sell out every Saturday; and they’ve sold nearly 600 jarred cocktails over the past two weeks. “My bartender says he's making more cocktails than he's ever made. I get him in on Wednesday for a day when we're not open and he spends the whole day just making jarred cocktails,” Woodyard says.

But it’s the lunchtime specials that have garnered the most Instagram fame, and Bart Jr’s latest special, the Filet O’ Fish, has already become a fan favourite. Inspired by the fish burger at Sixpenny in Stanmore, Woodyard created a decadent fish sandwich ­­— panko-crumbed market-fresh ling, Bart’s tartare sauce, smoked cheddar and iceberg lettuce. After posting about it on Instagram that morning, they sold out in just 15 minutes. “We had such a strong reaction. There was a line at 11.30am, we opened at 12pm and we had sold out by 12.15pm,” she says.

Woodyard plans to increase the number of fish sandwiches in the future, and has even had to order another deep-fryer to speed up cooking time. “As Covid goes on we've gotten busier and busier; you adapt and you get smarter,” Woodyard says. “As much as I need the customers, I also think they need us. People are really grateful that we are open.”

Bart Jr. Redfern CREDIT: Destination NSW

Shop exterior of Bart-Mart at Bart Jr., Redfern

#ilovesydney

Bart Jr. Redfern CREDIT: Destination NSW

Shop exterior of Bart-Mart at Bart Jr., Redfern

#ilovesydney

bartjr.com.au
Bart Jr, 92 Pitt Street, Redfern NSW 2016
@bart.jr.redfern

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@sydney #ilovesydney
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The NSW Government via Destination NSW is sharing a series of NSW Success Stories – businesses of all types that have adapted their offerings to face the current environment and continue serving their community with a fresh approach and shining success. These innovative initiatives are nothing short of inspiring.

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