Bondi Beach Public Bar is no more. The owner, The Point Group (Shell House and The Dolphin) has transformed the prime corner spot and the space next to it into Topikos, a slick Greek bar and restaurant.
Interior stylist Anna Hewitt has used pale blue tones, custom ceramic lamps and rattan chairs to set the mood. Adding a little edge to the aesthetic is a fun blue and yellow, Picasso-esque mural by Kiama artist Mikey Freedom (artist-in-residence at Shell House), as well as a marble mosaic chef’s bench installed opposite the roughly rendered banquet chairs that runs running the length of the 80-seat dining room. The exterior, decaled with the Greek key pattern, is striking when approaching.
Topikos, which translates as “local” from Greek, was created with the local residents in mind. “Our vision for Bondi was to create a local Greek restaurant and bar that people could rely on every day,” said Brett Robinson, CEO of Point Group. pamphlet† “The idea was not to make it a place that is an occasional destination; we talk about Topikos and its relationship with the locals as an essential restaurant for Bondi.”
While it may be casual dining, the food menu is a highlight. The group’s formidable culinary director, Joel Bickford (ex-Aria) has teamed up with Executive Chef Danny Corbett and Executive Chef Charles Woodward (ex-Pilu at Freshwater) to develop dishes inspired by the Greek islands.
“Greece is a part of the world that we love and we’ve all spent a lot of time in… we really miss the whole energy of beach clubs and summer, so when we were thinking about our next location that immediately popped into my mind came up,” Robinson says.
Diners can take a seat in the main dining room or take a seat in the lively 100-seat bar. Menus vary slightly, but both offer meze favorites like saganaki dressed with honey and black pepper; taramasalata (order homemade puffy pita bread to swipe through the pink calf dip); sardines on toast with tomato; octopus skewers with a honey vinegar glaze; and fried white fish. Bar-goers can also enjoy split shrimp draped in chili-garlic butter and feta, and kingfish collars baked in oregano and served with lemon mayo.
Meanwhile, those in the dining room are treated to heartier dishes like slow-cooked lamb shoulder with pomegranate glaze and tirokafteri (feta dip), and butterfled whole snapper with a paprika-smoked olive oil, served in a baked vine leaf.
The wine list, curated by sommelier and food and drink group director Alex Kirkwood (ex-Aria), is centered around a good mix of drops from Greece, Italy, France and Australia. Plus, Josh Reynolds (The Dolphin, Shell House, ex-Scout) has come up with an all-day cocktail list that includes a tangy watermelon Margarita and a Greek iced coffee with spikes, nutmeg curls, and a dollop of fresh cream, ideal for enjoying while you people watch from the boardwalk.