Enterprise is booming for the creators of Karen’s Diner a 1950s fashion US diner the place the meals is nice and the employees are impolite.

The events of the last 15 months and the international border closings have posed great challenges for the Australian hospitality industry. Viral Ventures co-founders and directors Aden Levin and James Farrell transform an empty retail space and open Karen’s Diner, a 1950s-style US diner where the food is great and the staff rude.

Sydney-based hospitality company Viral Ventures, owner of Sydney’s famous World Bar (now known as Wonderland Bar), has opened seven new venues in the past 12 months and employs over 78 local hospitality and entertainment professionals. At a time when staff shortages are widespread in the industry, the company has increased its focus on creating local jobs.

With that in mind, Viral Ventures is transforming an empty retail space and opening July 7th in World Square Karen’s Diner, a 1950s-style US diner where the food is great and the staff are rude to the CBD in this six month pop up.

With the rise of the infamous complaining “Karens” in today’s society and to poke fun at today’s “demolition culture”, this innovative concept becomes an interesting place to visit, where customers can find American home-style cooking such as burgers, wings, shakes and Cocktails that encourage rude, tongue-in-cheek fun to staff and customers alike. The menu will also include a range of vegan and vegetarian options.

Regarding the launch, Aden Levin, co-founder of Viral Ventures said, “All of our concepts at Viral Ventures are designed to ensure that people are having fun and possibly trying something they have never experienced before, be it an immersive one Experience in our Wonderland Bar or being served by angry Karen’s in our new Karen’s Diner. We just want people to have fun and that’s our approach to all of our Australia venues and pop-ups. “

Viral Ventures adjusted its business model in the wake of Covid-19 and was determined to continue its strong growth strategy. Incredibly, the company has grown 150% in sales over the past 12 months and grossed over $ 5,000,000. Given this recent success, the team is keen to continue growing at this pace and continue to create local jobs.

This milestone grows for co-founders and directors Aden Levin and James Farrell, who believe there is no limit to the creativity of their concepts. Aden and James have combined three and a half decades of experience in the events industry. Aden has successfully invested in the hit show Dragons Den UK for its innovative and unique Mainstage Travel concept and has a wealth of experience in the events industry, while James takes a leading role in the event and creative sector and successfully brings record-breaking events to the market.

Viral Ventures operates globally in Australia, the US, the UK and Canada and plans to enter the Asian market. Currently, Viral Ventures has a number of themed venues on three continents including The Wonderland Bar and The Big Bake and Beyond Cinema, as well as several pop-ups also gracing cities like the Smuggler’s Ship and Bumper Cars on Ice.

You can find the creative concepts of Viral Ventures here: https://www.viralventuresglobal.com/

Balkan money-laundering is booming | The Economist

May 22, 2021

ÖOn May 12, prosecutors in northern Macedonia accused Nikola Gruevski, the country’s former prime minister, of money laundering. He is believed to have channeled cash donated to his party through Belize to illegally buy property and hide its property. He says the case is politically motivated. In Jahorina, a popular Bosnian ski resort, gangsters and the officials they corrupt have now invested in hotels. All types of corruption are widespread. An expatriate who half-built a block of flats near his home in Vlorë, southern Albania, grumbles that the building stalled because he refused to pay bribes to get the necessary permits.

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All over the Balkans, dirty money is laundering through real estate, the market is distorted and prices are rising – much to the ire of common house hunters. Sophisticated new towers are rising in Tirana, Pristina and Belgrade. Although the economy in the Balkans has been badly hit by Covid-19, property prices in parts of the region have defied gravity. In Tirana they have more than doubled since 2017. Across Albania, the value of real estate transactions increased by 6.7% in 2020.

The money laundering of drugs, which has been booming in recent years, particularly through cocaine trafficking, is one reason for rising prices, according to a new report by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, an international network of crime specialists. Another reason is that crooked officials have to invest their money. All Balkan countries have solid money laundering laws, but enforcement is patchy.

In the last decade, criminal syndicates in the Balkans have outgrown their small home countries. They now earn a lot of their money abroad. Therefore, according to the report, a large part of their profits are also invested abroad. But they are still investing at home. Fatjona Mejdini, who helped research the report, says the Balkan governments are ambivalent about money laundering. They want to take action, but at the same time welcome the jobs and investments they can bring. The gangsters who make grueling money are conservative when it comes to investing it. They “have no imagination,” Ms. Mejdini says, which is why they prefer bricks and mortar to the many other types of shops that could wash their loot.

This article appeared in the Europe section of the print edition under the heading “Hide”