The liquor licence came through late, at 4.15pm. Within 45 minutes the grills were on, the phones up and running and the doors open for a 5pm seating. That was the sequence of events on Tuesday at Kenmore’s brand-new eatery, Stavros the Greek. The night would eventually book out.
It helps that Renata Roberts, the name behind Sichuan Bang Bang and Pizzeria Violetta, had been ready for months. “We were ready to go last year and were disappointed that we couldn’t open,” she says. But for the modern Greek diner and attached bar, Sunset, a liquor licence was felt to be imperative.
Stavros the Greek adds another cuisine to Roberts’s portfolio of Brisbane restaurants. The move comes from a longstanding passion for Mediterranean food. “I thought this was something I could sink my teeth into – literally,” she says.
The menu showcases good Australian produce cooked in a traditional Greek style. Standouts include the Barossa haloumi (the best Roberts has ever had, she reckons) and Western Australian sardines. There’s also slow-cooked lamb shoulder; souvlaki with options of lamb, chicken or pork belly; and gyros with the pita bread made in-house by head chef Josh Ingliss.
The drinks list offers familiar Australian wines but also the opportunity to try five different Greek drops. “They’re very dry with different characteristics and different bodies,” Roberts says. Next door, Sunset is a fully-fledged bar with an extensive drinks and cocktail list. Those who’ve checked out Bang Bang Bar in Paddington will be familiar with the “make your own gin” section.
The venue itself, with its high ceilings and outdoor dining options, is larger than the original Sichuan Bang Bang and Pizzeria Violetta just around the corner. The brightly lit space was designed by Tara Dennis from TD Creative. It's rendered in immaculate white with polished concrete walls and steely blue furniture accents. In contrast, the darker Sunset -- which sits in a smaller section to the side – embraces warmer colours of apricot, peach and gold, reminiscent of a Mediterranean sunset.