George Calombaris’s long-term business partner George Sykiotis has announced he is stepping away from Made Establishment, the group behind Hellenic Republic, The Press Club and Gazi restaurants.

Skyiotis and Calombaris have worked together for more than a decade and own Made Establishment with Radek Sali, the former Swisse Vitamins CEO who bought into Made last year to help expand the Jimmy Grants chain, which Calombaris and Skyiotis founded with a single Fitzroy restaurant in 2013.

In a letter to staff Sykiotis explained that while he will not be selling his stake in Made, he will be moving away from full-time involvement to spend more time with his family. He told the Herald Sun his new consultative role would focus on the real estate arm of the company.

It’s been a rocky year for the group. In early 2017, Made Establishment paid $2.6 million in missed wages after an external audit found it owed backpay to 162 staff at Hellenic Republic, The Press Club and Gazi.

The salary issues, which also included overpaying some staff, came to light after Sali joined the business and a new CEO, Troy McDonagh, was appointed in late 2016.

Shortly after the underpayments became public, Calombaris was charged with common assault following an altercation at the A-League grand final, and Hellenic Republic was sued over a food poisoning outbreak dating back to 2014.