Long term Brighton Resident George Afentakis 60, who owns the successful Greek restaurant Adelphia in Preston Street, is finally about to realise his dream.
George, who was brought up in Crete, has always dreamed of re-creating an authentic Greek Grill restaurant known as ‘psistaria’, which cooks and serves only traditional Greek food on a dedicated grill, unique to Crete.
Having been active in catering for the last 28 years in the UK, George has finally found the perfect place to fulfil his dream. Unit 23 on the first floor of an impressive grand building with imposing walls and dome and painted renaissance pictures within The Village at Brighton Marina.
Kirsty Pollard, General Manager of Brighton Marina said, “Unit 23 has been vacant for 10 years so we are delighted to see this beautiful harbour side venue bought back to life. The venue in The Village has lovely views across the inner harbour – this is the first and only Greek restaurant ever at Brighton Marina and its offerings are so unique to the catering industry. We look forward to welcoming Greek culture and freshly baked pastries every morning”.
Within the restaurant, known as Skara, meaning ‘Grill’ in Greek, George’s goal is to import their ingredients directly from Greece to ensure authenticity and all recipes will be freshly prepared on site. He said, “We want to bring our culture and Greek hospitality here to Brighton Marina. We want the customers to feel that in Skara, they are somewhere in Greece and Unit 23 is right by the water. Customers will be greeted with a bottle of water and a basket of baked bread with oregano on arrival, as is the tradition in Greece. For me, our culture is intricately entwined with our cuisine”.
George has always been destined to work in the industry. He explained, “When I was five years of age my parents asked me what toys I wanted? I said frying pans & saucepans so that I could make a restaurant under the trees. I called my friends and cooked stones & leaves and made all this food for the local children.”
He continued, “When I was 18 my Grandad said ‘I know how much you love cooking so I will open up a Greek Mediterranean restaurant for you in Athens.’ At 13 years old, I started cleaning & washing up and from then on I always worked in this industry.” All my recipes are from my Grandma”.
What makes George’s restaurant so unique is that he is offering not only the usual meat dishes but also Vegan. George said,”I want people to come to my restaurant and relax and know that the food they are eating has been prepared with great care & precision. We can achieve this by cooking in an open kitchen so that customers can see exactly what we are cooking and how and on a separate grill.”
George’s business partner Mr Praful from Tanzania owns Hove based Harp Wines and Spirits. He said, “I have been looking to get involved in a project at Brighton Marina for some years. Unit 23 is such an incredible space so when this opportunity arose with George I jumped at the chance. I had this vision to make a lounge bar called The Emerald Bar downstairs from the Greek Grill, which will be accessible to people who would appreciate a more sophisticated atmosphere. There will be a great ambiance with music and a dance floor and the bar will offer a huge selection of good quality wines, beers and liquor. Every morning we can offer freshly baked Greek sweet and savoury pastries to enjoy with coffee”.