Love Brisbane: Tastes of Brisbane - Tassis Group - Visit Brisbane

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Love Brisbane: Tastes of Brisbane - Tassis Group

Serving up memorable dining experiences is all about hospitality for Tassis Group General Manager Anthony Platsis.

Michael Tassis lives and breathes food and wine.

His father is the eponymous George of George’s Paragon Seafood Restaurant on the Gold Coast, a blue-and-white familial oasis and a dining institution for more than 30 years.

As a second-generation chef-restaurateur, Michael established George’s Paragon Seafood Restaurant on Eagle Street in 2011, offering classic Greek dishes and seafood platters with elevated views of the Story Bridge.

The powerhouse Tassis Group has since added four more venues along the glittering waterfront stretch: Fatcow Steak & Lobster, the Spanish-themed Rico Bar + Dining, Italian-style Massimo Restaurant & Bar and Opa Bar + Mezze, which opened in mid-2021 with a fresh take on traditional Greek fare as a homage to Michael’s Hellenic heritage.

As Tassis Group general manager for the past decade, hospitality veteran Anthony Platsis has the restaurant chops to help bring the flavours of Europe to Brisbane.

With 48 years’ industry experience, Anthony was raised in the hospitality business, starting from age 13 at his brother’s beloved Brisbane restaurant, Michael’s Riverside.

“Hospitality is a people business – it’s a medium to make people feel at home when they come into your restaurant,” Anthony says.

“My passion for food and wine has always been there, and I can see Michael’s vision – he lives and breathes food and wine and with five restaurants in the group, there is a strong commitment to Brisbane and the growth of the hospitality industry.”

The restaurants’ riverside location has a deep connection for Michael Tassis, whose father came to Australia from northwestern Greece in the 1960s.

Opa Bar + Mezze, in particular, was designed to make the most of its waterfront site with layered interior levels of different elevations that provide optimal views wherever you sit.

However, still reeling after months of COVID-related disruption, the riverside restaurants of Massimo Restaurant & Bar and Opa Bar + Mezze were no match for the recent floods with both locations inundated with water almost to the ceiling.

With Opa not even open for 12 months, Anthony says it was a double blow for the Tassis Group.

“You can’t hold back what nature wants to dish out sometimes.”

“On the Saturday night before we had a fantastic trade and the customers were enjoying themselves – no one prepared to wake up the next day to find two restaurants demolished.

“The rising water exceeded expectations and there was nothing Michael and I could do but sit there and watch it happen – we felt very defenceless,” Anthony recalls.

“At the same time, Michael’s passion has grown even stronger as we move forward as a group and resolve to come back even stronger to demonstrate our belief in Brisbane and bring the flavours of Greece and Italy again.”

While Massimo and Opa remain closed for massive repairs with a view to reopen soon, there is no stopping Michael and the Tassis Group.

A new West End venue, Yamas Greek & Drink, is slated to open in West Village in the next few months, adding a sixth restaurant to the growing portfolio.

Channelling the culinary classics of portside city Thessaloniki on the Aegean Sea, Yamas (‘cheers’ in Greek) will centre around share plates and banquet dining with modern Greek and seafood dishes.

“The palate of Brisbane diners has evolved as people have become accustomed to trying different cuisines and flavours and going out to eat at a variety of restaurants,” Anthony says.

“Brisbane is a growing city and will continue to grow leading up to hosting the Olympics.

“The Tassis Group has additional growth planned in the near future on our journey, including the relocation of restaurants with the upcoming redevelopment of Eagle Street, and we always want to deliver on the promise to give our customers a reason to come back and enjoy our hospitality.”

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