Star chef Neil Perry signs Baker Bleu to luxury Double Bay project, 2 Guilfoyle Ave

Neil Perry Picture: Liz Keene

Celebrity chef Neil Perry. Picture: Liz Keene

Star chef Neil Perry has just written a deal to bring one of Melbourne’s best bakeries to Sydney, with Baker Bleu signed as a joint venture anchor tenant at Fortis’s 2 Guilfoyle Ave project in wealthy Double Bay.

Perry is no stranger to Guilfoyle Ave, having already plunged $3.5m into the fit-out of his landmark Margaret restaurant that opened mid year at the height of Sydney’s Covid outbreak and is performing strongly.

Baker Bleu will sit alongside Margaret, with Perry signing a 10-year deal on 260sq m of space, with completion of the entire project expected early next year. The rent was undisclosed. Baker Bleu will supply bread to Margaret, which was named after Perry’s mother, for its lunch and dinner services as well as selling its legendary breads, bagels and pizza ­slices to the public.

Exterior shot of Fortis building at 2 Guilfoyle Ave, Double Bay

The Fortis building at 2 Guilfoyle Ave, Double Bay.

Fortis purchased the entire 2 Guilfoyle Ave site encompassing 344sq m for $14m and is presiding over a $10m refurbishment with an end value of $47m. All up, the site will offer three levels of high-end boutique offices as well as a retail-focused ground floor. It is now 100 per cent pre-committed to a range of tenants.

The Double Bay addition is the third location for Baker Bleu, which was started by Mike and Mia Russell in 2016 as a small bakery in Melbourne’s suburban Elsternwick, providing bread to the community and restaurants.

The joint venture by Perry and Baker Bleu marks the much-loved Melbourne brand’s first expansion out of Victoria. Using the same long fermentation process that Baker Bleu is known for, the Sydney space will produce, bake and sell sourdough bread, bagels, pizza slices and pastry next door to Margaret by Neil Perry.

Baker Bleu's Mark and Mia Russell

Baker Bleu founders Mark and Mia Russell.

“Despite the ongoing lockdown in Sydney over winter, Margaret by Neil Perry has been embraced by Double Bay, becoming a much-loved part of the local community,” Fortis director Charles Mellick said. “We are now a step closer to developing an enviable dining precinct in the area that is celebrated by locals and visitors alike.”

Perry said his one goal was to add incredible value to Double Bay.

“It is going to be a great pleasure to bring another fantastic offering to the area, and we’re looking forward to opening this venue early next year,” Perry said in a statement to The Australian.

The end value of Fortis’s Sydney projects under construction at present or in the planning is $1.25bn, with a further $1bn pipeline of work in Melbourne.