Things have moved quickly since George Calombaris’s hospitality group Made Establishment entered voluntary administration less than two weeks ago. Three of its venues – including Matt Wilkinson’s month-old Crofter – sold earlier this week, and another two are expected to sell today.
Kordamentha Restructuring, the administrator handling the Made sales, confirmed two outposts of popular souvlaki-bar chain Jimmy Grants (the Fitzroy original and one in the Emporium food court) have been sold to the owners of CBD Greek institution Stalactites and takeaway joint Hella Good, pending landlord approval.
“There was considerable interest in the Jimmy Grants stores with more than 30 enquiries, but acceptable offers were concentrated on just a few of the venues,” Kordamentha’s Craig Shepard said in a statement.
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Under the new owners, the two Jimmy Grants will likely keep souvlakis and Greek-style street food, but trade under the Hella Good brand.
The five other Jimmy Grants – in Richmond, St Kilda, Ormond and the Chadstone and Eastland shopping centres – are currently closed, and their future remains in doubt. The future of Made’s other unsold venues – flagship fine diner Elektra (previously The Press Club) and Greek restaurant Gazi – is also unclear.
Shepard said there were no other acceptable offers for the seven venues, and the administrator has run out of time.
“We encourage any further expressions of interest to be made direct to the relevant landlord,” he said.
A person familiar with the situation confirmed to Broadsheet there has been last-minute interest in Elektra.
On Wednesday it was announced that Crofter (the original Hellenic Republic location in Brunswick East), Hellenic Republic Brighton and Vita Ristorante in Kew (also a former Hellenic Republic) had also been sold.
The identities of the Brighton and Kew buyers are not yet known, but Crofter was sold to Andrew Kavanagh of The Que Club and will reopen next month as an American-style barbeque restaurant and shop. Wilkinson will be assisting Kavanagh with the transition.
Calombaris announced that Made Establishment (founded in 2006) was entering voluntary administration on February 10. The news came after Made last year admitted to underpaying staff $7.8 million, more than the $2.6 million underpayment the group self-reported in 2017.