Modern Mediterranean restaurant St Katherine's will close and re-open as the Kew outpost of Brunswick East's boisterous Greek eatery Hellenic Republic, as George Calombaris and his Made Establishment partners continue to reshape their restaurant empire.
The group, which is co-owned by Calombaris, is expected to close St Katherine's in early November and re-open not only as the second Hellenic Republic, but with a Greek pastry shop on the site as well.
“Hellenic is who I am, it's what I do," said Calombaris. "The challenge of opening a new Hellenic in Kew with a new concept of Sweet Hellenic [pastry shop] is super exciting. St Katherine's was great and I enjoyed that chapter but it's time to move on into a place where I am at home.”
St Katherine's opened in May 2011 with chef Shane Delia a part-owner. Its loud, happy vibe saw it regularly full from day one, luring baby-boomer locals with feel-good fried chicken, pork buns, Mr Whippy-style soft serve icecream, and the chance of spotting Masterchef's Calombaris in the kitchen. Shane Delia sold his share in March this year to take over sole ownership of Maha in the city, another restaurant Made Establishment founded.
St Katherine's head chef Anthony Archambaud will remain at the venue. Head chef at Brunswick's Hellenic Republic, Travis McAuley, will oversee the menu for the Kew site. He will bring across some of the restaurant's popular dishes such as the saganaki, tarama dip and meats from the rotisserie, as well as introducing some new dishes.
The overhaul of name and focus at the St Katherine's site is the latest in a series of big changes being implemented by the restaurant group. The site of The Press Club in the city is now home to souvlaki diner Gazi. The Press Club is being re-configured on a smaller site next to Gazi and is due to open later this year. Souvlaki bar and takeaway, Jimmy Grant's opened in Collingwood in mid-2013 with plans to open more around the city.