The Sausage Queen's Legacy Won't Ever Die
By Tahney Fosdike
Most of the time, it’s not the bricks and mortar that make a restaurant an iconic feature of a neighbourhood, but its people.
Such was the case for Sausage Factory, an inner west ‘Snaggery and Brewery’ with a devoted patronage. Its legacy won’t ever die, even after co-owners Chrissy Flanagan and Jim Flanagan part ways and close their restaurant on 17 December.
“We know our way around a sausage,” the Sausage Factory’s website confidently states. Housing their restaurant in an old butcher shop, the Flanagan duo (who coincidentally have matching last names) created small batches of sausages for all dietary requirements from “real meat, no junk, and always certified free range.” They also stocked Sausage Queen Brewing, poured to wash down sausages devoured by the Sausage Factory’s eager visitors.
While their origin story harks back to 2015, the Sausage Factory opened as a Dulwich Hill-based restaurant in 2017.
“The Sausage Factory evolved since we started [operating] five nights a week doing like a huge menu,” said Chrissy Flanagan, also known as the Sausage Queen, “We cut back with a set menu that worked for us. People wanted to trust us to give them delicious sausage — a huge endless range of choices wasn’t as necessary.”
They were well-known for experimentally integrating Australian Indigenous ingredients into both their beer and sausages.
“My favourite sausage was a chicken and pork button blanc, an incredibly decadent French sausage with an absolute ton of eggs and milk. Incredibly difficult to make, but rich. People compared it to the texture of souffle.” Chrissy said her favourite beer was “the first beer we ever made — Boss Ale Paleish — which was incredibly fully flavoured.”
It wasn’t just the menu that was innovative and inclusive, but the vibes too, with many reviews praising the restaurant as ‘fun,’ ‘intimate,’ and ‘warm.’
“It became clear that people were coming as much for the experience, atmosphere and community as they were for the sausages,” Chrissy reflected. “That was something I hadn’t expected, but I’ve been incredibly thrilled by.”
When considering a memory from the restaurant’s story that would stay with her, Chrissy spoke about a recent 30th birthday celebration at the Sausage Factory.
“It was just an incredibly joyful night, and a Phil Collins song came on which the friendship group had choreographed a dance for,” she recalled. “They got up and did the dance, and it was just so light-hearted. That’s definitely something I will remember.”
On 6 December, just eleven days before their final night, Chrissy shared to her 74k TikTok followers that the Sausage Factory would close. The decision followed the separation of the co-owners in their private life partnership. Neither felt it was right to continue their project without the other, nor was it sustainable to continue working together.
“We’re closing on our own terms,” she said. “We could easily keep going. We’re not closing for lack of patrons or financial reasons. It’s just our relationship circumstances and out of respect for each other that it’s such a special place that we built together. I certainly couldn't consider doing it on my own.”
While their closing devastated the local community, Chrissy stated in a follow-up TikTok that she didn’t want to let the door hit her on her way out or let the “punitive gods of hospitality” punish her. She might have achieved this wish, as the Sausage Factory booked out for their final week of service.
Once the Sausage Factory finishes up its chapter in Dulwich Hill, will the Sausage Queen live on, having dismantled the kingdom she constructed over the last five years?
“I will continue to be the Queen of Sausages. I will continue making them and teach people as a sausage educator,” Chrissy confirmed about the future.
“I will not be manufacturing sausages in the same volume, but sausages will always belong in my heart.”