Greca was one of the Howard Smith Wharves hits of the Brisbane summer. Jonathan Barthelmess’s easy, breezy Greek restaurant was packed with punters most nights of the week.
It perhaps makes sense, then, that Barthelmess has chosen to expand his local footprint. He’s taking over the empty tenancy next to Greca to create a Japanese izakaya and bar. The space was originally earmarked for the expansion of Sydney Japanese eatery Toko.
“We love being part of Howard Smith Wharves where the huge success of Greca has taken us all by surprise,” Barthelmess said in a press release. “By taking the restaurant space next door we can grow and strengthen our team and invest more into the Brisbane dining scene.”
The venue is inspired by Barthelmess’s time spent living and working in Tokyo, where he owns The Apollo, and his much-loved Cho Cho San restaurant in Sydney.
The news is so fresh that the venue doesn’t yet have a chef attached or an exact direction with its cuisine. It doesn’t even have a name. What we do know is it will be a two-storey restaurant and bar, and the upstairs section will be “a fun take on a vinyl bar” with an extensive, curated list of whiskies.
“There will be a big raw section on the menu, which will be predominantly based around sustainable seafood, some raw vegetable dishes and meat dishes as well,” Barthelmess told the Courier Mail earlier this week.
“I’m trying to secure some really hard-to-get cuts of (Australian) Wagyu as well, which I’m pretty excited about,” Barthelmess told the paper.
The move seems to finalise plans for the line of heritage-listed tenancies that adjoins Greca, after news late last month that Andrew Baturo had handed over the lease of Stanley to an unnamed group of new owners.
Barthelmess’s new venue is scheduled to open in October.