National

Three Calombaris restaurants change hands

By AAP Newswire

New operators are taking over three restaurants from George Calombaris' crumbled food empire in Melbourne.

Administrators Craig Shepard and Leanne Chesser from KordaMentha announced on Wednesday the sale of assets and new leases for his Hellenic Republic restaurants in Brunswick and Brighton and Vita Ristorante in Kew.

"There has been enormous interest in the venues, but transitioning the businesses has been complex and time-consuming," Mr Shepard said.

"We would like to acknowledge the speed with which these purchasers and landlords have engaged with us to enable these transactions to have occurred."

About 400 jobs were put in jeopardy when celebrity chef Calombaris put much of his restaurant empire in the hands of administrators last week.

The administrators said the purchasers of the Kew and Brighton venues were planning to contact former employees of the two restaurants to discuss new job opportunities.

The uncertainty faced by workers when 12 of Calombaris' venues stopped trading was criticised by unions.

The only part of Made Establishment excluded from administration was a chain of four Yo-Chi outlets.

Declining patronage and an inability to turn the business around forced Calombaris to shut the Made Establishment Group.

The decision came after it emerged last year that staff were back-paid $7.8 million in wages and superannuation in 2017.

This first sale of Calombaris' assets comes the day before the first meeting of creditors, to be held in Melbourne on Thursday.

KordaMentha said they will release a report on the group's affairs before the second meeting of creditors next month.