Australia’s Public Hospitality Group has relinquished control of the distinguished Greek restaurant Alpha, located in Sydney’s Central Business District, The Sydney Morning Herald has reported.

The Hellenic Club-owned establishment had been under Public’s management since December 2023, when it won a tender to operate the venue.

Public recently introduced celebrity chef George Calombaris to lead the kitchen.

The future of Alpha restaurant under Public’s management had been uncertain, with ongoing discussions between Public and the Hellenic Club. Staff were notified that Public would no longer operate the upscale Castlereagh Street eatery.

Con Dedes, an experienced restaurateur behind several successful Sydney venues, has now confirmed his takeover of the restaurant.

Dedes expressed his honour in taking over Alpha Restaurant and Beta Events, acknowledging the trust placed in him by the Hellenic Club and the importance of the venue’s Greek heritage.

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He committed to maintaining the legacy of the establishment.

Dedes said: “On behalf of (my wife) Kerrie, myself and the team at Dedes Group, we are honoured to be adding Alpha Restaurant and Beta Events to our suite of hospitality venues. We thank the Hellenic Club for their trust and it is certainly not lost on me that we inherit an asset with wonderful Greek heritage, humility and, as the Hellenes say, filotimo [love of honour and duty]. Our team will work hard to uphold this beautiful legacy.”

Alpha, which opened in 2013, was originally led by chef Peter Conistis but saw a shift in March with the introduction of former MasterChef judge George Calombaris. Dedes hinted at potential discussions regarding Calombaris’s future at Alpha.

Public Hospitality, established by Jon Adgemis in 2021, has faced financial challenges, leading to a search for refinancing solutions. After a failed attempt and alleged tax investigations, the group secured a $400m refinancing deal with a consortium led by Deutsche Bank.

The Hellenic Club and Public Hospitality mutually agreed to the transition, with Public focusing on company-owned real estate.

The change in operations from Public Hospitality to Dedes Group is underway, with both Public and Calombaris aiding in the transition.