Byron Bay’s Beach Hotel swaps pokie room for casual restaurant and bar
In an interview with Broadsheet, Elke van Haandel, general manager of the Beach Hotel, said, “It was a very big decision [to get rid of the poker machines], and was brewing for some time. I’m being stopped in the street by people thanking me for removing them, everyone has been responding really positively.”
Chef David Moyle, executive chef at Melbourne’s Longsong and formerly head chef of Circa and Hobart fine-diner Franklin, has designed the menu, but will remain at Longsong. Both Longsong and the Beach Hotel are owned by the Van Haandel Group. The Beach Hotel’s kitchen will continue to be run by Shane Morritt.
The tight menu focuses on seafood and aperitivo-hour snacks. To start there’s sardines on rye toast with sweet onions and fennel; spiced eggplant dip; and oysters with finger lime. Larger items include kangaroo tartare, local burrata with tomato salad, charcuterie boards, and a prawn cocktail.
For drinks, the wine list focuses on Australian makers like Mac Forbes and Ochota Barrels, while the cocktails are inspired by Italian aperitivo, with various iterations of spritzes and Negronis. There’s also a short list of kombucha cocktails, including one with Campari, Maidenii Sweet Vermouth and Lemon Myrtle Kombucha.