Marcus and Theo Agiannitis – taken over the running of Charcoal Chicken from their father John. Photo: Adam Hourigan
Marcus and Theo Agiannitis – taken over the running of Charcoal Chicken from their father John. Photo: Adam Hourigan

Iconic Grafton takeaway stays in the family

AFTER helping his father John in iconic Grafton food shop Charcoal Chicken for more than 25 years, Marcus Agiannitis was working out on his own when the shop closed earlier this year.

And then he had to make a decision.

"I had a career going doing personal training with about 40 clients," he said.

"And I had to think do I want to do my own thing there, or do my own thing with the shop.

"I weighed it up, and here I am."

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Marcus, along with brother Theo have reopened the Charcoal Chicken shop, and he said he was overwhelmed at the public's reaction to the family business starting again.

"We always had to intentions to do it," Marcus said.

"We've always been here when dad ran it for 35 years; it's just been in the family.

"The reaction has been overwhelming though; we have 320 people through the door on the first day.

"And they're all saying they're glad to have you back, and telling us stories."

And with the doors open again, they say they're keeping their authentic recipes the same for now.

"The recipes are nearly 20-25 years old, and they're still good. People tell us they enjoy them - it's good wholesome food, with good value, and they get good service, good product, and it tastes good.

"If people want the charcoal chicken, we'll give them the charcoal chicken."

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There were plans to renovate the business over the next few months, with the brothers to sit down with their father to go over a revamp.

And that's not the only time the newly retired patriarch of the business has come through the doors.

"He was in here the other day serving customers, and he takes one look and knows what to do," Marcus said.

"He came in and saw a pumpkin, and he was straight in chopping it.

Marcus said he derived a lot of self-satisfaction over the work and said that it was in the family blood.

"He (John) gave us a 20-year lease too, so that is a good start," he laughed.