Alpha Restaurant
Dedes Group has been named as the new operator of Alpha Restaurant, a venue owned by the Hellenic Club of Sydney. Credit: Facebook

With months of speculation as to the status of its finances, and having lost partners like Love Tilly Group, Public Hospitality’s operations have been under intense scrutiny.

Last week the group, headed by former KPMG consultant Jon Adgemis, endured a few more blows, with the cessation of the operating contracts for Alpha restaurant and Beta Events, which are owned by The Hellenic Club of Sydney.

The operations of Alpha and Beta Events are now in the hands of Dedes Group.

Con Dedes, founder of Dedes Group, confirmed that his hospitality group has been operating the venues since Monday 17 June.

“My relationship with the Hellenic Club started 25 years ago when my father used to take me to the Hellenic Club to have a really awesome Greek meal in their restaurant,” he said.

“We’re honoured to be custodians of this wonderful asset that the Hellenic Club have had since 2013. We started operations here on Monday 17 June, and we’re going to work hard to keep this wonderful legacy going. We look forward to the future.”

Public Hospitality was contracted by the Hellenic Club to operate the venues late last year.

There have also been reports that two of Public Hospitality’s venues have been placed into external administration.

According to filings with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) companies associated with both the vacant Kurrajong Hotel in Erskineville, and the Rose Hotel on Oxford Street have both been placed into external administration.

However senior management from the group has suggested that this is just standard filings as part of a restructure of the group.

“This is a previously reported process as part of a broader group restructure. As part of that restructure a lender related to those entities have appointed a receiver as expected,” stated Joanne Sproule, Chief of Staff and Head of Hotel Operations for Public Hospitality.

“This does not affect Public Lifestyle Management or the operations of our venues.”

This comes off the back of months of reporting from various media outlets about the state of Public’s finances, with the group having struck a new refinancing deal with Deutsche Bank and several investment firms to the tune of $400m.

Rumbles about the group’s financial status began late last year, when Love Tilly Group announced it was ending its partnership with Public Hospitality, closing its La Salut wine bar offer in The Norfolk, and Fabbrica inside the Exchange Hotel in Redfern. It also scrapped the plans to open a second Fabbrica location in The Federal Hotel in Annandale.

“For the benefit of the staff and the suppliers, we can no longer, in good faith, continue to run our venues together with Public Hospitality,” said Love Tilly Group managing director Matt Swieboda in a statement at the time.

Public Hospitality’s portfolio includes several pubs and bars across Sydney and Melbourne, including The Strand Hotel, Lady Hampshire, Empire Hotel, Saint George, Maybe Sammy, El Primo Sanchez and Camelia Grove Hotel.

The story first appeared on Club Management’s sister site, Australian Hotelier.

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