A day out with... Theo Maras

Last updated 19 Dec, 2022

Despite his semi-retirement status, Maras Group chairman Theo Maras still has a boardroom, of the “unofficial” kind, at the Adelaide Central Market.

Mr Maras, also the Adelaide Central Market Authority chairman, says the Gouger Street icon oozes culture, and is a place he has visited since he migrated from Greece at four years old.

His love for the Market, which remains open over Christmas and during the arcade's $400 million redevelopment, has remained strong since then — and that sentiment is unlikely to fade.

“It really is my most favourite part of Adelaide,” Mr Maras says.

“Coming here is my unofficial boardroom, and my business house, because coming to the Market, talking with people and doing business with people is what I enjoy the most.”

ADLocal caught up with Mr Maras as part of its A day out with series where business leaders highlight the little guys that are the lifeblood of the city.

Lucia’s Pizza and Spaghetti Bar, which opened in 1957, has been a long-time favourite of Mr Maras, who has cemented himself as a part of the furniture at the Adelaide Central Market institution.

Lucia’s Pizza and Spaghetti Bar is known for its authentic Italian dishes and only uses the best produce from the Market.

“I remember coming to Lucia’s in the late 60s as a teenager and, for me at the time, it was a very special event for me to be able to socialise in a place like this,” Mr Maras says.

“It is the tradition of the shop being here and seeing the same family who opened it.

“The quality of all the food, the coffee... it is very, very special.”

Mr Maras helped spearhead the revitalisation of Rundle Street East 30 years ago where he created a "multi-function polis” that combined residential living with entertainment and retail.

The Maras Group still owns a number of properties along the strip, which is currently "thriving" with minimal vacancies, and among his favourite places to visit is Eros Kafe. 

“For me, Eros is a must — you can see I have an addiction to high quality food,” Mr Maras says.

“The service, the sweets and, of course, a strong Greek coffee straight after a serve of calamari and octopus with a nice Kataïfi is the best.

“A good Greek coffee is hard to find, but once you have it, you will stay awake.”

Mr Maras says small, local businesses are the fabric of the city and are among his favourite places to visit.

He encourages locals and visitors alike to support the precinct.

“The City of Adelaide is a very special place… it's the heartbeat of our state and to be able to create an environment with great social and physical elements is really important to me,” Mr Maras says.

“I've had the opportunity to redevelop the East End, Rundle Mall and now I’m working very closely with the City of Adelaide on the redevelopment of the Central Market Arcade.

“There are big opportunities there — it is very rare to have three chances to take on predominant parts of Adelaide, and I am so proud to do it.”

A day out with... Paul Vasileff

A day out with... Douglas Gautier

A day out with... Hitaf Rasheed

A day out with... Rosina Di Maria

A day out with... Grant Wilckens