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Byron Shire
August 3, 2021

In a league of their own

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Timbo and Emma with propaganda shots and proper pasta plates, at the Leagues Club. Photo Jeff ‘Kicking goals since 1986’ Dawson.

S Haslam

At the end of a dusty lane, just beyond the increasingly hip area of the Mullum Industrial Estate, is an unanticipated eatery. Although the dining room at the Mullumbimby Leagues Club has been an institution for a while, a new team has brought fresh life to a great location. The restaurant has a beautiful rural view of expansive green fields, shady trees, the Brunswick River and beyond to Mt Chincogan.

There’s a warm, social vibe with upbeat tunes in the background amongst a bit of ‘old school’ club character and history; the bar is actually named after Vic Armbruster, a rugby legend of his time who commenced his career in Mullumbimby, an historical image of this Brylcreemed beaut crowns the drink service area. In fact, for historical accuracy I should say that Vic was actually playing for the Giants, where he started his fab career, before the invention of Brylcreem. The bar is to one side of the room, high and low tables and a nook with a sofa – from which patrons can take in the landscape – as well as a pool table, grace the rest of it. 

The new manager, Tim Parsonage, or Timbo, is the one breathing new life into the outfit and from his time managing the Byron Brewery, as well more lately working at the Rock n Roll Cafe, he knows how to create a dynamic, popular venue. Emma Ekenstam is the Head Chef, and in poetic synchronicity, Timbo discovered her when she was fishing in the river, just across the pitch.

Wednesday is Pasta Night at the club, and history isn’t just in the decor. Harking back to the old days, the $12 pasta prices are reminiscent of an earlier time, when everyone was eating the ‘foreign’ food like spaghetti bolognaise and you might have thought $12 was ‘a bit exxy’. Chef Emma makes all the stocks and bases from scratch-, and it shows – the pastas are rich and flavoursome. Try the Veal Ragout, or the Leek and Mushroom creamy pasta, with or without chicken for the same $12 price. This is absolutely great value.

The menu also has simple salads, or a $4 garlic bread or $4 dessert. Chef Ekenstam is Swedish, so her Swedish Chocolate Mud-Cakes are spot on. The menu varies all the time, but there’s always something available for the vegetarians as well as the meat-eaters.

There are five beers on tap and a range of spirits behind the bar too, all at very reasonable prices. There is a Happy Hour from 4–6pm where you can get a $4.50 schooner.

It is a family friendly venue with a playground outside, as well as plenty of open space. As well as the rugby fields, there is an 11-hole golf course, which would be a perfect entree to dinner, watching or playing a match on the field, or strolling under the trees.

There will be more happening at the club soon, Timbo is turning over a few new ideas for the space; such as a November Reggae Festival, film nights on the pitch, and a definite is the return of the popular Food Truck night. As well, the club is ideally suited for celebrations like weddings and special occasions, with an open indoor space with gorgeous views and a great expansive outdoor area too.

Dinner Wednesday, Thursday, Friday nights from 5.30pm (plans for a taco/trivia Tuesday are underway!)

Mullumbimby Leagues Club
25 Manns Rd, Mullumbimby www.mlclub.com.au.


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