Steven Woodburn

Former MasterChef Australia judge and Made Establishment Co-Founder George Calombaris has been recruited by Public Hospitality to usher iconic Sydney restaurant Alpha into its next chapter.

Peter Conistis launched the Greek venue back in 2013, with the chef since exiting the restaurant, which joined Public’s growing portfolio at the end of last year.

Calombaris will officially join Public as creative partner in April, and is set to develop a new menu for Alpha, which will also reboot its cocktail program with the Maybe Sammy team overhauling the offering.

“I’m going to tweak the dining experience and part of that will be relaxing the menu, amping up the atmosphere, and introducing a whole lot of fun,” says Calombaris.

“Peter Conistis has done amazing things for the profile of Greek cuisine and I feel honoured to be able to continue to evolve Alpha.”

Alongside the revised culinary, the restaurant’s interior will be slightly altered to include a Greek karaoke room and focus more on the bar area.

Head Chef Alessandro Mandelli (Grana) remains in his position, with The Press Club and Vue de Monde alumni Joey Commerford moving from Melbourne to take on the GM role.

“The Alpha team have been very welcoming and we’re all excited to introduce this new chapter of Alpha to guests,” says Calombaris.

“Sydneysiders were always very supportive of my restaurants in Melbourne so I’m pumped to have a space to share my food in Sydney.”

Alpha’s official opening date is yet to be announced, but it’s been confirmed Calombaris will be at the restaurant on a fortnightly basis for the next six months.

It’s the latest project for the chef and TV personality, who has had a turbulent few years with his restaurant group Made Establishment collapsing in 2020 before the chef returned to Melbourne’s hospitality landscape last year, opening The Hellenic House Project in the city’s south.