Nick Flaounas (who some might know from his DJ days as Nick Foley) has been waiting four and a half years for his Oakleigh wine bar Olympia to come to life. The former night club operator and DJ (who also co-owns wine bars Harvie in Armadale and Gloria’s in Camberwell) signed the lease on the space above Oakleigh Market before the pandemic – and on March 22, Olympia will finally open.

The new wine bar, which Flaounas co-owns with Steven Bourgazas of Bohdega Cafe, is split across two spaces: a first-floor wine bar in a former Italian restaurant space that will seat 40 people, and a rooftop wine bar with room for 65. Both spaces take influence from the Greek Islands, with the decor designed by local interior designer Daniela Chu.

Flaounas’ reverence for Oakleigh’s significant Greek community can already be seen in Olympia’s cinema verite-reminiscent Instagram Reels which show local Greek elders in various scenes in Oakleigh.

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He was initially planning to open a Mediterranean bar: “I was like, I don’t want to pigeonhole myself and do a Greek place”. But a friend convinced him to “embrace it” and with Olympia, Foley will proudly show off his Greek heritage.

On the first-floor space, which is flooded with natural light during the day, this influence is seen in the ultra-white walls that are reminiscent of whitewashed limestone found around Greece, the shelving cut into the walls, and thatched-back chairs. Inside, there’s also a bar covered in terracotta-coloured square tiles, plenty of plush booth seating and even a turntable for vinyl-only DJ sets.

While the first-floor area will be a comfy and casual place to catch up over a glass or two, Flaounas says “upstairs it’s going to be really celebratory”.

Flaounas converted part of the market car park to create the rooftop bar; but with the olive trees and leafy outlook, there’s little trace of its previous life.

Both the first-floor space and the rooftop bar will be table service only with wines curated by sommelier Norman Houghton on offer.

He says the food will be similar to Harvie – think wine-friendly snacks like lobster rolls and kalamata olives – with Greek plates including patates tiganites (“which are Greek chips, not French fries”), taramasalata (a Greek fish roe dip) and saganaki added to the mix.

Olympia is expected to open at 12-18 Chester Street Oakleigh on March 22

@olympia.wine