21.3 C
Byron Shire
January 20, 2022

Stylish beer garden at new North Byron Hotel

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Byron Shire Council’s first meeting of newly minted councillors was to take place today, 20 January, however, the storm of COVID-19 that is taking place across the country led to it being postponed.

Simon Haslam

One of the pleasures of living in sub-tropical Byron is that a beer garden can feel comfortable most of the year around, so it’s not surprising that new owners of The Sun Bistro at Sunrise (now called The North Byron Hotel) have redesigned the wonderful rear outlook, so that the whole hotel is centred around a tropical haven, perfect for catching the afternoon sun with some drinks and a little live music.

This is a beer garden Byron can be proud of, fringed with lush greenery and with some bright flowers. Those who like their beer gardens to be less sticky and more stylish, at least in a beer garden kind of way, can relax as the overall look is good, with lots of wood and grass outside and crisp coastal interiors. Visiting what was still a worksite last week, I could see a number of different great spaces to sit inside (one of which is an alfresco room with a mister!). 

The interior is definitely getting an ‘upstyle’, including a new-look bar, restaurant and pizza bar but really the focal point is the outside. The old back deck has stayed, but below that is a ring of tables (under market tents at the moment to give plenty of rain-proof outdoor space). Within that again is the wonderful ‘mounded’ grass hills, with a cool ‘Garden Bar’ caravan serving local drinks to the crew on mats under large personal umbrellas. 

Beyond the adults’ play area was one of the most inviting kid’s play areas I’ve seen. When our kids were young they used to play in a boat at our coastal pub, but the kid’s area was progressively downgraded and made less inviting – the North Byron Hotel has turned that trend around. There are smoothed, but ‘natural’ logs, a great little tunnel made out of half a hollow tree, big ropes, and it even half looks like you’re in the bush. Rough cut logs are dotted over the lawn for (reasonably fit) people to move around as seats, and a vegetable garden has sprung up, growing fresh food for the kitchen – the whole place is starting to look like a sustainable backyard for entertainers… well, serious entertainers with 32 beers on tap.

And this look is no accident, as the new owners of the pub have made an effort to make it fit better within what they feel are the things that matter to their drinkers, things like the beach life, a love of local products – like our beers and spirits – and most importantly, sustainability. The North Byron Hotel has been purchased from coal baron Brian Flannery’s KTQ Group (which owns Elements of Byron). Flannery, who in August threw his fortune behind Bowen Coking Coal in a move that could see another coal mine open in Queensland within a year, has never been a natural fit with sustainability, although his resort looks great.

The new owners of the pub, a group of investors led by the Winchester group, have been behind some other popular renovations lately; of the 145-year-old Regatta Hotel (the iconic three storey white-verandahed pub overlooking the Brisbane River) and the 130-year-old Normanby Hotel, for example.

New North Byron general manager, Jenni Meulet, says ‘We want to give back to the community, its local producers, and brewers and showcase a warm, welcoming place for everyone in the local Byron Community. We work closely with local producers, farmers and fishmongers to ensure we deliver exceptional food and beverages. The North Byron Hotel is going to be a great venue to socialise with friends, colleagues and family.’

North Byron Hotel.
61 Bayshore Dr, Byron Bay. Ph 6685 6500.
Kitchen hours: 12noon–8pm Wed to Sunday.

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  1. We want to be there at that pub. It’s so hot and humid here in S/E Qld that the coconuts on the kitchen bench are breaking into a sweat.

    • I remember when we couldn’t afford coconuts. The natives would bring’em out to the warships in their canoes but we had to sink ‘em.
      Ah. Happy days.


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