A popular restaurateur has fare-welled the Gold Coast, with the sale of Hellenika in Nobby Beach.
Simon Gloftis will now concentrate on his expansion in Brisbane, focusing on the new Helenika up there, and another restaurant on the way.
Helenika at Nobby Beach had it’s last day of operating on Sunday, before the official hand over to the owners of Burleigh’s Justin Lane.
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Simon Gloftis told 1029 Hot Tomato’s Flan, Emily Jade and Christo it’s been a very emotional experience.
“It’s really flattering that so many people enjoyed Hellenika.
“The last 10 years have been like a dream for me – I couldn’t have asked for anything else.
“I love the Gold Coast but I opened up a Hellenika in Brisbane and I’m actually opening another restaurant there in a couple of weeks,” Mr Gloftis said.
What he was really worried about, was his beloved restaurant slipping through the cracks while he pursued other interests, and he didn’t want it to suffer.
“You know what happened – it’s been 10 years of Hellenika on the Coast and I could see there were cracks showing, when I wasn’t there shaking the hands and doing the little things that a restaurateur needs to do.
“And I thought you know what Hellenika doesn’t deserve for me to make it second best, and I just sort of went – you know what? It’s time.
“It’s really tough – as a restauranteur these days – I don’t know how people even make money – to split myself as well was hard, because I know some of the regulars who were in there were thinking ‘oh where is he today’… and I just don’t like that,” Mr Gloftis said.
While it’s been tough, Mr Gloftis says the Gold Coast has been the best experience for him, and looks forward to what’s ahead.
“It was an amazing 10 years, no one’s more upset than my mother.
“I’ve sold a few restaurants over time and cafés, but this one has been really hard,” Mr Gloftis said.
The venue now belongs to the same owners of Justin Lane, who plan to reopen the restaurant as ‘Loki’ as soon as this weekend.
It’s understood the head chef Justin Pries will remain – and continue to make incredible Mediterranean dishes for diners.
Simon Gloftis wishes them all the best, and says there was no one better to take over.
“The guys are tried and true operators.
“They’re changing the name – they’ve called it ‘Loki’, they’re the owners of Justin Lane and they know how to run a business and I wish them all the very best,” Mr Gloftis said.