By S Haslam
Upstairs at the beach end of Jonson Street sits Loft, a venue with an inviting, relaxed style of natural, coastal chic.
There are terrace seats that overlook the vibrant street scene, high tables as well as inviting couches, and on one busy night, seats were made available for my group at the curved deli bar where we saw artful charcuterie and cheese boards being so constructed.
As well as the deli bar there are oyster bar choices and a fine modern Australian menu with a diverse range of flavour inspirations from abroad. The various tastes and sizes of plates (snacks, sharing, smalls, mains, sides, and dessert) lend themselves brilliantly to shared-style dining, snacking, or the full multi-course shebang. After grazing on the mixed deli board (filled with local charcuterie meats, cheeses, and delicious bits and pieces), we shared the Crispy Pork Belly, their famous fries and salads for good measure. The pork was decadent, wintery, and cooked to perfection: a must try!
With dining tables right across the terrace, diners can enjoy views from Main Beach down through town and the bustling nightlife below.
A recently renovated bar sees artfully skilled bartenders front and back speedily mixing and shaking up delights. Favourites include the Spiced Chai Whiskey Sour, the Brookies Spring Gimlet, which uses local Byron Bay gin, elderflower liqueur, fresh cucumber, basil, sage, and fresh lime. I loved the Mac Sour, which includes, among other things, Brookies macadamia liqueur and toasted-macadamia syrup.
Of course the time-honoured classics are there along with craft tap beers from Byron, Burleigh, interstate, and overseas. There is a worldly wine list incorporating an admirable range of antipodean and continental choices, a good number of which are organic or biodynamic.
Loft pays homage to Byron with its open, breezy feel, its elemental elegance, and it’s often locally sourced and inspired fare. Patrons are encouraged to drop in after the beach for an extended, relaxed lunch or visit in the evening when the vibe becomes more upbeat for dinner or cocktails.
Loft July Special – 2 Courses + Glass of Loft Wine or Beer – Lunch & Dinner – $35
Loft. 7 days from 12pm until late.
4 Jonson Street, Byron Bay. 6680 9183.