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Byron Shire
October 16, 2021

House-made Roadhouse

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Some things you just never get tired of – aged scotch, good food and wine, great sex (yes, I just said that), and there are just no substitutes for coffee, chocolate and smokes (I don’t anymore, but have).

The Roadhouse next to the Bluesfest office in Byron Bay appears to be selling some of the quintessential elements (excluding the sex bit, of course).

The atmosphere in a space is usually a composite of its creators. I’ve been told a number of folk are behind this nicely decked-out concept cafe.

It’s not a franchise sort of concept (unless you consider Melbourne or New York to be franchisors); it’s rustic Melbourne-esque meets New York, or some such thing. Whatever the look, the stage at Roadhouse obviously has been set for quality.

Appearances are just right, along with the light; the service is a counterpoint – a delivery-only affair. The coffee I consumed thrice, and I only do that when the stuff is good. Applause to the Roadhouse baristas (they pour the Allpress coffee like they were stolen off the street as toddlers and trained to produce only the very sexiest cups).

Everyone blends in here because all are seen to be not seen.

I’m sure there were some famous folk here (apart from myself – ha) but you wouldn’t know unless you were in the know. Here there’s a bank of expensive grog behind glass; it’s the nightmare of alcoholics and the aphrodisiac of foodies like me.

Should I have a snifter of Glenfiddich? I asked the counter at what time I could order a drink. The answer was as indeterminate as my ordering one at 8am: ‘From 7am, I think… not sure, but you have to order food with it’. I’ve never had scotch at breakfast with a coffee – it’s just unthinkable – or is it?

Could I die on the way home without having had a single malt in the AM while sober?

Liquor-cabinet-roadhouseYou really get the feeling here that nobody is going to get uptight about your ordering a martini with fruit toast.

It’s a comfort zone where you can be without patent attention for those who seek such things. I look around and see many who could be well heeled. At the same time a student in front of me was drinking his coffee from a takeaway cup. In front of him was a plastic container with his cut sandwich, obviously brought from home.

He sat at the table in the sun for as long as it took me to write this article. Two bites of his sandwich then he produced a book and started to read. Yes guys, it’s really good of you not to have ejected this young patron; others would without flinching.

So, along with good food, there is a ‘cool’ thing going on here. House-made, really fresh and friendly food is the Roadhouse credo and this I gleaned from every plate I witnessed leave the kitchen.

A pork belly came laid in a Polish setting (I asked the person consuming it – he happened to be from that country and was more than happy with the context), a side of red cabbage or ‘kraut’ snuzzled the meat.

I’d eaten breakfast, a local sausage plate that came with generous cuts of kransky hidden beneath a plethora of ground-to-kitchen green leaf, herb and garnish. A pan-cooked chilli lay low for me to find; a spicy surprise. The only ‘thing’ – a dry pair of tortilla were served that were not possible to use or eat, so I ordered a side of bread for soak-up.

I was alone so enlisted the help of a couple now sharing the bench with me. The woman was beautifully tattooed with her late father’s artwork as the subject matter. She owns her own tapas bar at the ‘Goldy’, she explained. ‘I love coming down to the Roadhouse for the atmosphere at night; the cocktails and the food are the bomb on my day off.’

She and her friend had ordered the charred satay king prawn and Thai green pawpaw salad garnished with cherry toms, chilli, peanuts and lime; and a Roadhouse spiced fish taco served with avocado, charred corn salsa and dry-smoked jalapeno mayo. Both were shining examples of a casual, good-looking and healthy fare.

Seduce me and do it often; this Roadhouse seems to be saying that it wants me but is already spoken for. It’s subtle and sexy with the trappings of good food and drink and a service that entertains your attentions comfortably at a distance.

Their website states, ‘By day – the Roadhouse operates as a cafe, by night – the venue operates as an extensive whisky bar and restaurant’. Stay tuned, I’ll be pulling into the Roadhouse for a salacious evening affair really soon.

Roadhouse Café Bar Eat-in/takeaway,

fully licensed Mon and Tues 6.30am–2.30pm Wed to Sun 6.30am–10pm

6/142 Bangalow Rd, Byron Bay Ph: 6685 5601

[email protected]


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