Cocktails at the Hotel Great Northern – photo Jeff Dawson
By Vivienne Pearson
After being closed nearly a year ago, the dining area at Hotel Great Northern (aka The Northern) is well and truly open for business.
A huge renovation project has resulted in a radically new layout and a striking brick-and-black design scheme. The addition of a full cocktail bar gives the space a spectacular focus. The aesthetic of the old is maintained with the addition of a moody cocktail lounge feel.
The iconic venue, in its third iteration after the initial two hotels on the site burnt down in the early 1900s, is already well known for its music, bar and atmosphere. The new dining and cocktail area adds a strong extra layer to what is already on offer.
The full windows that open onto the street – the only change to the façade that has been made to the 1939 building – have been retained and decorative lighting adds to the warmth of the venue.
The benefits from the renovations extend behind the kitchen doors; there are now highly functional work spaces for the team of chefs.
The menu is eclectic in the best way possible, with dishes reflecting all cultures as well as the team’s extensive cooking experience. You can order and eat in the front bar instead of the dining area if you wish and, if you are in the dining area, the gorgeously lit fully stocked bar means that you don’t need to leave the room to get a drink.
The Northern is a venue that’s well known for its live music, and musicians playing gigs take full advantage of the great food on offer at this central Byron hotel, mingling with the diners heading in from Jonson Street.
Hotel Great Northern, Jonson Street, Byron Bay. Phone 6685 6454
Food available 7 days, 12–3pm and 5–9pm (snack menu only 3pm till 5pm), www.thenorthern.com.au
Hotel Great Northern kitchen – photo Jeff Dawson
Friendly staff – photo Cristina Sharratt