‘We are open to all’: Anthony Abazis helps transform Victoria’s oldest ethnic club

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Victoria’s oldest ethnic club, Club Tivoli, has known many periods of change and transformation.

With its first president formally inducted in 1860, the now 162-year-old Club has known everything from a youthful General Sir John Monash socialising with members, to countless celebrations of other migrant cultures – including Greek nights, Italian nights and salsa dancing.

The Club has also always been home to Victorians who identified with their Germanic heritage, providing hearty meals and beverages with a distinctly Deutsch flavour in an attempt for members to keep their language skills and Old World culture alive.

Today, Club Tivoli is in the process of embracing its single largest and most significant transformation with the help of Greek Australian chef, Anthony Abazis; Redevelopment Manager of German Indian heritage, Richard Altreith; the current Club president, Dieter Schwab; and Club manager, Tanya Kabisch.

(L to R) Club President – Dieter Schwab; Redevelopment Manager – Richard Altreith; Hospitality Manager & Chef – Anthony Abazis; Club Manager – Tanya Kabisch.

Speaking with The Greek Herald, Mr Abazis shares how he’s very excited with the transformation and looks forward to bringing a Greek influence to the Club.

“We’re very much community based. We want to make sure we are serving the local community,” Mr Abazis says.

“We’re trying to create not so much a German club in itself but more of an ethnic club which welcomes all backgrounds.

“A perfect example is the way our kitchen is set up. Me being a Greek Australian has so much Greek influence on our menu. The second chef who is Italian brings a whole wealth of knowledge to the table with his cuisine.

“So it’s not strictly speaking German cuisine, we’re more like international.”

Anthony (front).

This ambitious plan to entirely refresh the Club’s identity will not only see the Club rooms completely rebuilt with state-of-the-art facilities and a three level underground carpark, but several floors of boutique apartments will also crest the proposed redevelopment.

The jewel in the crown will be a restaurant sitting atop these apartment floors, with its location perfectly situated for diners to drink in the views of the CBD skyline, the Port of Melbourne and The Dandenongs.

“We’re always evolving and pushing forward,” Mr Abazis concludes.

“I’m pretty skilled at my craft but I’m very excited. With this new building and state-of-the-art facilities that we’re putting in, it’s just going to be mind blowing.”

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