During late-November last year the landmark ‘Hellenika’ restaurant on the Gold Coast’s Nobby Beach announced it was closing its doors.
Hellenika was credited as “changing the Gold Coast dining scene” and “reviving Nobby Beach”, with restaurant owner Simon Gloftis serving trendy but traditional Greek dishes for over 10-years.
Gloftis decided to sell the Nobby Beach business and focus on his other two restaurants in Brisbane.
Though, regulars had not lost hope as the team behind popular pizza restaurant ‘Justin Lane’ reinvented ‘Hellenika’ as ‘Loki’.
The opening of Loki came with high expectations, with “pop culture version of the Mediterranean” being the brief and promising “drinking, dining and dancing”.
But owner Brodie Millwood said the new direction came with a grilling from the community.
“The first week was pretty insane, to be honest,” he told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
“We just really tried to do our best to honour as many of the Hellenika bookings as we could.
“(But) in that first week, we were having people come to the door and tell me how terrible it was, what I was doing. They were blaming me, people were abusing me on the phone.”
“The following of Hellenika is very loyal, and they’re coming in still expecting it to be Hellenika.
“There was pros and cons to it. It was good for us to get people through the door, and we wanted a certain amount of crossover with the old Hellenika clientele.”
During the first five weeks, Millwood said he was “feeling positive” about Loki’s future.
Though, this week, Loki unexpectedly announced its shock closure. The owners plan to cease trade as of this Sunday, just two months after opening.
“Despite making this decision to close while we get ready (to) relaunch, we are very happy that we were able to employ a large number of staff four weeks before Christmas, keeping them employed through the Christmas and New Years period,” Mr Millwood said to the Gold Coast Bulletin.
“Although we know that in the short term this is a difficult situation, the relaunch of this venue with a new concept will see us grow in stature as a local employer, allowing us to employ even more workers into the future than we employ now.”