Opa! Wait no more, Gold Coast, your fave Greek taverna has officially opened its long-awaited rooftop and she’s a beauty!
Owner Simon Gloftis had envisaged a rooftop terrace for his traditional Nobby Beach restaurant when first opening the doors way back in 2010—long before rooftop bars were a buzzword on the Coast. But persistence is key and his vision, and the whole reason behind the popular venue’s mega renovation mid last year, has fiiiinally been realised with the entrance of Bar Hellenika.
To say Simon has had his hands full is an understatement. He launched his game-changing restaurant, Nineteen at The Star, literally days ago no less, but if anyone can pull it off, this guy can. And we think everyone should give this gracious, trailblazing restaurateur a congratulatory high five when they visit. Gosh knows he deserves it.
Simon confesses this will not be his last project (how does he do it?!), but speaks with a sparkle in his eye when declaring Hellenika will always be his baby and that there’s just “something in the walls” here. Yep, the love runs deep with us, too!
Together with his dedicated team, they’ve pushed hard to reach the ultimate 2018 deadline (the Easter long weekend and Commonwealth Games combo). And today, Bar Hellenika finally has the canary yellow umbrellas popped, the vino chilling, ceiling retracted and the big ass fan circulating, in preparation for its loyal and patient customers to come flocking. And flock they will.
The new upstairs terrace is perfectly positioned for lazy autumn sunset vistas across to the hinterland with a mood-lifting sound track that quickly evokes dreamy memories of your last Greek Island summer holiday escapade.
Decorating the sun-drenched space are framed homages to Greek-blood celebrity royalty from George Michael and Tina Fey to George Stamos (why is every second Greek person named George?!). A potted olive tree and soon-to-be-cascading bougainvillea add bursts of colour; all wrapped inside white-on-white stucco walls—a nod to the classic sugar cube architecture of the islands. Yep, this beauty is every ounce of urban chic and the closest you’ll come to a taste of Greece on the Gold Coast without jumping on a plane.
Hungry? Bar Hellenika is all about mezze share plates, so come ready to devour your faves from those addictive zucchini chips, to saganaki, veal dolmades, flash-fried calamari, house made dips and breads, to slightly more substantial salty pork belly and grilled lamb ribs.
A welcomed addition to the Nobby Beach strip will be lunches from Wednesday through to Sunday (12pm to 3pm). Come for the fancy $28 lunch special with your choice of deliciousness including moussaka, King George whiting or chicken souvlaki, accompanied by olive oil-baked potatoes and Greek salad. Long, boozy ladies lunches? Hello!
If you wanna skip the food and go straight to the cocktails, your first rooftop-christening tipple should be the crowd favourite Ari Onassis—a blend of Mastiha liqueur (made with fermented tree sap from the Greek Island of Chios), Tanqueray gin, elderflower, lemon and cucumber. Or perhaps a frosty bottle of Mythos or chilled Santorini-sourced white wine will soon see you stashing your keys and planning for an Uber.
Proudly displayed in a glass cellar at the rear is Hellenika’s 500-strong wine list. All options are available to rooftop guests, though they’ve narrowed it down with a concise but fab bar wine list sourced from regional Australian wineries to Greece, Italy, Spain and France, along with a glass (make it a bottle) of Bollinger champas.
While welcoming bookings for large groups and functions, Bar Hellenika will be totally walk-in friendly, perfect for impromptu Sunday sessions or pre or post drinkies before your Greek feast in the downstairs dining room.
Is your to-dine bucket list overflowing yet? We thought so!
What: Bar Hellenika
Where: 2235 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach
When: Open Wednesday to Sunday; 12pm ‘til late (open seven days through the Commonwealth Games)
Once you’ve visited Bar Hellenika, your next destination must be Simon’s proudest new addition—Nineteen at The Star.
Image credit: Hayley Williamson for The Urban List