George Calombaris will close his flagship restaurant, The Press Club, later this year. The chef, restaurateur and Masterchef host announced the closure late last night, via an emotional Instagram post.
“I won’t lie. These will be the hardest words I have to write. I am emotional. I can’t stop crying but I know good things have to come to an end,” he wrote.
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I won’t lie. These will be the hardest words I have to write. I am emotional. I can’t stop crying but I know good things have to come to an end. @thepressclub has given me everything. Not just me but also thousands who have experienced it. @thepressclub was a dream to put Hellenic ideas on the map. To love the past and to always look forward. Yes, it’s the end. And also the beginning. I am an Aussie. I am a Hellene. We never stop dreaming, thinking and creating. We make mistakes. Lots of them. @thepressclub will always be in my heart and soul - 12 years of memories. More than a restaurant; it’s a place that creates stories, innovation, love and life. We’ve had the privilege to welcome over 600,000 guests, travel our menu across the globe and together, become a family. Now, it’s time for a new chapter and to write a whole new book. On 29 June 2019 we will serve our final menu before we enter an exciting phase of reinvention. We are incredibly proud of the past and now more than ever, inspired by the future. There will be exciting events over the next few months to celebrate signature dishes and host special guest chefs to celebrate their part in the journey. Join us in what has been and share the excitement for what is to come. Thank you for your support. To the next chapter. GC 🧿🇦🇺🇬🇷 xxx
Calombaris opened the The Press Club in 2006 in the space now home to his cheerful Greek restaurant Gazi.
In 2013 he moved the fine diner next door into a smaller, more intimate site with room for just 10 tables. The space's low ceilings – cloaked in installation-like, custom-designed brass light fixtures – and snug, leather booths have the feel of a slick, futuristic superyacht interior.
Calombaris also owns several Jimmy Grants and Hellenic Republic locations through his company Made Establishment. The group made headlines in 2017, when it admitted to underpaying staff by a total of $2.6 million. The 162 staff affected were back paid. The average amount owed was $16,000.
The 12-year-old Press Club will serve its last diners on June 29. Calombaris will retain the site and turn it into something new. There’s no word yet as to what that might be. In his Instagram post, he mentions "an exciting phase of reinvention."
“The Press Club will always be in my heart and soul – 12 years of memories,” he said in a prepared statement. “Now it’s time to create new ones. We are reimagining, evolving and although deeply proud of the past, we are inspired by the future to evolve with what our guests want, while still staying true to our roots.”
Over the next three months Press Club’s executive chef, Reuben Davis, will host a series of events to celebrate the restaurant’s history. Alumni chefs will be invited into the kitchen, and old dishes will be brought back temporarily.
Press Club’s final service will be on June 29, 2019.