By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier

Noted Melbourne chef and Masterchef judge, George Calombaris, is set to open the Hellenic Hotel in Williamstown, a south Melbourne suburb in June.

The pub has been in the works for over two years, after MAdE Establishment – Calombaris’ restaurant group – purchased the old Hobsons Bay Hotel, a building of renown in the capital city. March Studio, the architectural firm that has worked on several MAdE Establishment venues, are currently working on the final touches for the new hotel.

Co-owner Travis McAuley and Calombaris have a definite vision for the venue, and of course it’s all about the food.

“I call it Gastro Greek, which means a Hellenic touch on great Aussie pub food,” Calombaris stated.

“What we are is simple. The ground floor is the tavern – it’s all about ‘Gastro Greek’ food. Level one is the Public Bar, offering great beer on tap, daily pub specials and a cheeky big screen to watch your favourite team. The veranda is perfect for people watching and a cheeky Negroni. Why not! And don’t forget, Hellenic Hotel takeaway for all your food and beverage needs, on the go.”

To help bring the food offering to life, Josh Pelham has been installed as head chef of the venue, after stints working at Calombaris’ Fenix and Press Club, before working overseas. Pelham’s most recent position has been at notable Melbourne restaurant Estelle.

“We’re rapt to have Josh on the Hellenic team,” Calombaris said. “Josh is an exceptional chef. There’s a reason why he was awarded Young Chef of the Year (The Age Good Food Guide 2015). To have him on board is an exciting addition to the team.”

The design of the hotel will be inspired by Greek coastal hospitality.

“The design is inspired by its local history and Greek culture – Greek culture is intimately connected to the sea – a connection that will be celebrated in the colours and textures of the restaurant,” explained lead architect Rodney Eggleston.

After two years of fits and starts, Calombaris and partners are ready and eager to get the Hellenic Hotel open.

“This project has been such a long time coming, but it will be well worth the wait. The pub has had a remarkable history and it’s a real privilege to give the old building a new life – the Hellenic way.”

The Shout Team

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