Just Open: Atalanta Bar and Greek, Hamilton

Natascha Mirosch
Baklava with white chocolate and freeze-dried raspberries.
Baklava with white chocolate and freeze-dried raspberries. Photo: Robert Shakespeare

A year ago Harun Gencerler got a haircut that changed his life.

It was at friend Simon Bou's barber shop that a conversation started that led to the pair going into business together. 

"I was getting a haircut and mentioned to Simon that I was over here looking at a venue for a new restaurant." Gencerler says, "and he told me that he wanted to open a bar so we decided to do it together."

Greek meatballs with tomato-braised risoni and feta.
Greek meatballs with tomato-braised risoni and feta. Photo: Robert Shakespeare

Atalanta Bar and Greek (the name refers to the Greek goddess of the hunt) was slated to open before Christmas but is finally opening on Friday night.

While it's Bou's first foray into hospitality, Gencerler already owns South Bank venues Next Door Kitchen and Bar, South Side Diner and Ahmet's Turkish Restaurant.

So why the move downstream to Hamilton and why Greek?

Harun Gencerler, left, and Dean Brewer of Atalanta.
Harun Gencerler, left, and Dean Brewer of Atalanta. Photo: Supplied

"There's a lack of good restaurants and bars on this side of town it's a booming area with lots of investment happening," Gencerler says. "And the part of Turkey I come from, Izmir, has a lot of Greek influence in its food, so it's not so different for me. It's something I've always wanted to do."

The bar, seating 60, has an al fresco area and features a casual mezze-style menu with wine by the bottle and glass, cocktails, beer and a handful of ouzos.

The adjoining 130-seat restaurant is headed up by ex-South Side Diner chef Dean Brewer and boasts a private chefs' table for 16 with a large window into the kitchen. 

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Brewer went to Greece with Gencerler last year for inspiration, and the chef's menu puts a contemporary spin on Greek standards such as crab moussaka, goat croquettes and charcoal-grilled octopus with a chilli-grapefruit dressing.

Traditional favourites include lemon and oregano potatoes, gyros and slow-cooked lamb leg, plus a white chocolate and freeze-dried raspberry baklava. 

Atalanta will open for weekend breakfast from February 6..

Open Mon-Fri 11.30am-11.30pm; Sat-Sun 7.30am-11.30pm.

Shop 5, Portside Wharf, Hamilton, 07 3868 4449