King George Fish and Grill

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King George Fish and Grill

Eating fish and chips at the beach is an Australian tradition and George Likoudis is helping keep it alive with his second King George Fish and Grill on the Waterfront in Geelong. With parents who immigrated to Australia from Greece, they didn’t have much else aside from their hard working attitude and the pride in doing something well. As a result they soon opened up a fish and chip shop, where George spent most of his childhood working. After gaining an insight to a successful business and developing a passion for the trade as a young boy, following on with his passion was the most logical step.
“We care about our food and our customers so much, we don’t just wake up, come to work and go home – we breath it,” George says. “I wake up every day super pumped to smash out some great food and talk to customers as well. I think that’s how I’ve been brought up with mum and dad, and everyday here I get the staff and do a pep talk. There’s no point creating a negative workspace environment, it’s just like soccer if you have one negative player the team is going to collapse.”
Unlike the Geelong West venue, which focuses on take away items, the Waterfront location has ample seating to dine in and enjoy the quality seafood that George and his team dish up every day. It may seem like there are many venues offering up seafood dishes along the picturesque Corio Bay, though not many do it quite like King George Fish and Grill. Glimpsing at the menu and the well thought out dishes, like the braised octopus & quinoa salad, it’s clear that after years in the seafood industry, George knows what he’s doing.
“It’s not only just fish, there’s not many places where you can get seafood in a place that really aims for seafood, and that’s what we’re trying to do. And the chef that we’ve got is probably one of the best seafood chefs in Geelong,” he says.
George is well tested at running a busy venue, the Geelong West location is a known favourite among locals, though the biggest challenge came when opening his venue corresponding with the launch of the famed Christmas tree at the Waterfront.
“It just happened to be that week and I didn’t even know the Christmas tree was getting launched, then I found out there was going to be 20,000 people down there and I nearly had a heart attack. It always happens where everything comes at once,” he adds with a laugh.
With a sense for good quality seafood, the tourists and locals flocked to the venue, causing George a lot of early mornings and late nights. “I was doing like 13 hour days, 14 days straight. I was at the shop at four o’clock in the morning filleting fish for both places, running between the two shops and trying to organise. So it’s been an absolute hectic two weeks, but a good two weeks because the shop opened,” he says.
From the Friday through to the weekend, the venue sold close to 50 of the venues iconic seafood platters. At $110 each, the platter is an affordable alternative to more expensive options in the region, and with the same quality. Aside from the popular platter, the venue offers frequent lunch deals, with some coming in at $10 – a hard find on the Waterfront.
Once things balance out, George plans to have regular seafood nights, where the venue is booked out and has an a la carte menu, as George describes it: “You walk in, get something off the seafood platter, have a glass of wine and chill out to the musician playing in the corner with the guitar.”
For George it’s all about atmosphere, and with the Christmas tree glimmering out in the water of the bay, there’s not many places that can beat it.
Open Tuesday to Sunday 11.30am-9pm
100 Western Beach Rd, Geelong
Ph: 5229 7771
By Amanda Sherring