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Byron Shire
July 20, 2024

New restaurant opening

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Photo Jillian McHugh

Commune Canteen (previously Barrio), is bringing the vibrant spirit of Mediterranean daytime eateries to Byron Bay. A visionary project by restaurateurs Utku Ayhan of Foxy Luu’s Byron Bay and Sefa Kitchen in Sydney, and Nicholas Degryse of Pure Hospitality Group in Sydney, Commune Canteen is dedicated to turning the Habitat courtyard into a community hub with the focus on local produce, community, and sustainability seasoned with art and music events, talks and collaborations with local creatives.

Inspired by the home-cooked meals found in Mediterranean townships, Commune Canteen offers an ever-changing menu based on fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients. Operating from Monday to Saturday, 7:30am to 3pm, this new venue promises a blend of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine and community-focused dining.

The Mediterranean diet, renowned for its health benefits, forms the backbone of Commune Canteen’s offerings. It features a great balance of vegetables and greens for fibre, easy-to-digest proteins, high-quality meats, healthy fats, nuts, fruits and house-made pickles. Guests can enjoy a variety of colourful salads, hot slow-cooked meals, and in-house baked breads, with dishes served from the counter in a casual yet vibrant atmosphere.

The menu changes regularly, including bone broths and specialties like breakfast ratatouille, baked shakshuka, crispy gnocchi with burnt butter and carrot top pesto, lamb tagines with flatbread, Greek lemon chicken with sumac labna, duck shanks with spiced orange, and wood-fired prawns with preserved lemon, vine leaf and burnt butter.

Embracing a canteen-style dining experience, Commune Canteen allows guests to customise their meals using a fill-up tray system with three or five compartments, perfect for mixing and matching. They will also host communal lunches, featuring a long table in the Habitat courtyard laden with shared plates, fostering a sense of community and new friendships.

Guests can start their day with a perfect cup of Beams coffee, a selection of teas from ‘Good for the Tea’, a social enterprise dedicated to positive change, house-made Bonny’s Jungle Chai, and Byron Bay’s Mason’s Mushrooms – a superb blend of medicinal mushrooms. Additionally, a hand-picked selection of local and Mediterranean wines will be available in time for lunch.

Commune Canteen is the first of three venues to open at Nourishing Habitat. This unique eatery is more than just a place to eat; it’s a destination where food, community, and sustainability intersect, set to become a beloved spot for both locals and visitors alike.

Go to https://www.nourishinghabitat.com/ for more information or visit at 1 Porter St, Byron Bay.


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