Hatted Lorne restaurant Little Picket to close

April 15, 2024 BY

Sustainability has been a strong focus at Little Picket since it first opened its doors in August 2022. Photo: INSTAGRAM/LITTLE PICKET

BELOVED one-hat restaurant Little Picket, located in Lorne, will close at the end of the month, less than two years after it first opened in 2022.

Owner, Victoria’s Chef of the Year Jo Barrett, announced recently that she would not be renewing the lease on the space the restaurant has occupied at the Lorne Bowl’s Club.

Little Picket’s already booked out final service will take place on Saturday, April 27.


Lorne’s Little Picket will have its final service on Saturday, April 27. Owner Jo Barrett (front, crouching) is pictured here outside the restaurant located at the Lorne Bowls Club. Photo: INSTAGRAM/JO BARRETT


Barrett said the restaurant’s closure was “on her own terms” and not motivated by many of the struggles plaguing the hospitality industry at the moment – the restaurant remains successful and is frequently booked out for months at a time.

“It’s been a funny one not knowing when and what to say to people because we felt with the current time people would see our choice as a negative ‘another one bites the dust’ situation,” she wrote on Instagram last week.

“It’s been hard owning a small business and running a restaurant; it’s not all sunshine however it’s also not all bad, it’s been amazing.”


Barrett, Victoria’s Chef of the Year, will now shift her focus to other projects. Photo: LEON WALKER


Rather, Barrett is closing Little Picket to focus on other projects she has been juggling on the side: pies created from wild game that has been killed as part of ongoing culling programs and an initiative alongside the CSIRO to reduce bread waste across the country.

“I am not the type of person to do things by halves or feel I want to have a restaurant and not cook in it, especially a place as special as the Lorne bowlo,” Barrett wrote.

“There have been projects that really excite me that have been put to the side that I’m pumped to have time to work on.

“It’s a bittersweet situation and hasn’t been the easiest decision but sometimes you have to take a chance.”


Little Picket’s menu has changed frequently since it opened, with dishes based around the availability of locally grown produce. Pictured here is a vegan dish of carrots with curry sauce, cashew sambal and chickpeas. Photo: INSTAGRAM/JO BARRETT


Barrett, along with her partner David Osgood, first opened Little Picket in August 2022.

With a strong focus on sustainability, Barrett’s frequently changing menus have been based around seasonal cooking and the availability of locally grown produce from small-scale farms, such as Kinsfolk Farm in Moriac.

Little Picket was never intended to be a fine dining establishment.

Instead, Barrett wanted to provide locals a welcoming and communal space with quality, nourishing meals that offer a sense of comfort.

“Lorne and LP [Little Picket] have far exceeded any expectations,” Barrett wrote.

“Our team, the members, the guests and our community as a whole have been so supportive to Dave and I. We are so lucky.”

Surf Coast Times – Free local news in your inbox

Breaking news, community, lifestyle, real estate, and sport.