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Hog's Breath Cafe limped through Covid and Lords Place makeover. What now for famed steak franchise?

September 7, 2023

By Peter Holmes

Phone the Hog’s Breath Cafe on Lords Place and you’re bounced around between messages.

One says the restaurant will open at 11:30am. You are then forwarded to another that says the restaurant will be closed from July 3-17, 2023 for renovations. The message hasn't been updated in more than two months.

A social media post on July 3, 2023 stated: “To our loyal customers, we are unfortunately temporarily closed due to circumstances beyond our control. Many thanks for your patience.”

The next post was on July 22, 2023. It appeared as if things were looking up: “From savoury garlic prawns to creamy mushroom sauce, we've got the perfect topping for your prime rib.

“Indulge in the taste of perfection with each bite and treat your taste buds to something special. Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity to get your hands on one of our prime rib toppers. Come enjoy the ultimate #steakexperience today!”

Since then, silence.

When The Orange News Examiner visited the site during usual opening hours over recent weeks, the front shutter has been down, and there has been no sign of activity inside.

Attempts to contact the Orange restaurant and Hog’s Breath head office have proved fruitless.

According to a Google search the restaurant is “Temporarily Closed”.

Backing out of Covid into the controversial $1.58 million Lords Place redevelopment proved hugely challenging for businesses on Lords Place, and Hog’s Breath was not immune.

In August 2021 the restaurant was still advertising home delivery on social media.

Over the 2021-22 holiday season, small signs were stuck to the windows of the restaurant advising customers that the establishment - best-known for its steaks, curly chips and mega sundaes - was closed for "equipment maintenance and repairs".

It was put on the market and reopened.

The Orange News Examiner has been told that the Hog’s Breath had reverted from being a private franchise to a restaurant owned by the parent company, but has not been able to confirm this. It is not listed among the NSW franchises currently for sale on the Hog's Breath website.

If the restaurant has indeed closed - it will join Botanica Flora as another to leave Lords Place behind.

The owner of Botanica Flora - who over the last couple of years had a floristry at the front of Parlour O and at the back of Good Eddy cafe - has walked away from retail after many years. The business has continued for weddings and other events, however the days of selling a bunch of flowers to a local are over.

The stress and loss of income since the Lords Place makeover began 13 months ago is believed to have contributed significantly to that decision. The Orange News Examiner has sought comment from the owner.

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