When musician Pete Murray decided to open his own Byron Bay bar and cafe, he turned to longtime friend and experienced restaurateur Sally Cook to join him in the venture. Pete and Sally met when they both worked at a fitness centre in Brisbane in the 90s.
‘While Pete knows his music, I know my food and together it was a perfect balance of art and authenticity,’ Sally said. The result is the Frankie Brown Cafe Bar, named after Pete’s beloved kelpie.
Although Pete will perform occasionally, there is live acoustic music each week and it’s hoped that Frankie Brown will give new musical talent the opportunity to find their feet in a relaxed, intimate setting.
It’s a great place to go for cocktails; the popular ‘Espresso Martini’ is made with fresh espresso every time using a high-quality Italian coffee called The Establishment that is stocked exclusively in Byron by Frankie Brown. They also stock such exotic foreign beers as La Chouffe (a Belgian beer served in an ice bucket with two glasses) and Deus Les Brut de Flanders – a Belgian beer fermented and then shipped off to the Champagne region of France to be placed in caves for 12 months.
A quick selection of the menu items reveals that Frankie Brown takes its food seriously: Duck and Cointreau paté with roasted pear and baguette slices; Japanese tempura oysters with bonito flakes, wakami and wasabi mayo; or seared scallops with avocado puree, capsicum jam, pork wafers and truffle essence.
For those looking for something more substantial the main dishes include such items as: macadamia crusted barramundi with banana slivers, truffle chive mash, glazed beans and toffee lime; or perhaps Sally’s famous pasta marina with a hint of chilli, king prawns, snapper, scallops and calamari.
If you’re one of those overindulgent Byron vegetarians like myself with a gluten-free partner (they taste great) you’ll appreciate that most of the quality menu is gluten free and there is also a more extensive selection for vegetarians. The philosophy is that if the ingredients are in the kitchen the staff are more than happy to assist people with special dietary needs.
Previously a Mexican restaurant next to the Bay Beach Motel in Lawson Street, Frankie Brown has undergone a massive transformation. This is the eighth cafe Sally has remodelled, and she was quite specific about both the functionality and the vibe she wanted to create.
Sally says that she’s aimed to create a ‘vibe that is cool, relaxed and inviting with fresh, interesting, high-quality ingredients from within the Shire – a place where people can make themselves at home, sit back, relax and enjoy what’s on offer. I’m very happy with this new cafe which is already proving popular with Byron locals and visitors.’
FRANKIE BROWN CAFE
Restaurant, bar, fully licensed. Open seven days for dinner from 6pm.
32 Lawson Street, Byron Bay.
02 6680 7474 | www.frankiebrown.com.au