Byron Bay’s food scene continues to grow apace, with Italian restaurant Pixie Food & Wine arriving in the highly anticipated new Jonson Lane area in November.
The ‘alley-style’ Jonson Lane development, located at the western end of Jonson Street, will also host a bigger and better version of Byron’s popular Light Years Asian restaurant, Bar Heather natural wine bar, luxury retailers Venroy, Deiji Studios, NYC and Nagnata Saturdays, and residential apartments.
Pixie Food & Wine restaurateurs James Sutherland and Kim Stephen, who are also behind Light Years, say the Italian eatery will combine Byron’s laid-back, seaside vibe with upscale urban cuisine. They recruited Sicilian chef Matteo Tine of Melbourne’s upscale Florentino to helm the show, and acclaimed designer David Flack of Flack Studio – whose other recent projects include Sydney’s Ace Hotel – for the interiors.
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The menu will include dishes such as sfinci (Sicilian-style fried donuts) filled with a hot cacio e pepe sauce and finished with a thin slice of homemade air-dried bresaola; Mooloolaba tonno pastrami Home-smoked albacore with marinated and fresh heirloom radish giardiniera; and spaghetti alla chitarra, made with sourdough pasta, vongole and bottarga sauce, fermented chili oil, and lemon-fennel pangrattato.
“We have this amazing team in the kitchen who have worked really hard to combine a modern, vintage Italian approach to plating with local, seasonal produce, and make pastas and preserves from scratch,” says Sutherland.
Sutherland and Stephen have been in planning mode for two years, after the original Light Years outgrew its current compact space across town. “We believe the level of restaurants we are building is now representative of Byron’s demographics,” Sutherland said. Large format. “The property prices in Byron are ridiculous. We absolutely loved this building and all the greenery.”
Light Years will grow from 45 to 120 seats, with the new space taking inspiration from the Yves Saint Laurent museum in Morocco, with terracotta tiles throughout. The original Light Years, which opened in 2017 and was followed by outlets in Newcastle, Burleigh Heads and Noosa, will close in mid-October, to be replaced by a new Middle Eastern restaurant called Smoking Camel at the beginning of 2023.
In September, the team also opened Moonlight, an intimate Japanese hibachi grill and wine bar next to Light Years in Byron Lane. “Originally we wanted to put it all together, but we couldn’t get it through the board,” says Sutherland.
While more retailers will be announced for the enclosure over the next few months, we know there are good things to look forward to from Bar Heather too. This is the second location for James Audas and Tom Sheer, who run the nearby Luna Wine Store. It will have a strong emphasis on natural wines alongside snacks from chef Ollie Wong-Hee, who has worked in Sydney’s top restaurants including Ester and Sixpenny.
Pixie Food & Wine and Light Years are due to open in November at Jonson Lane, 139 Jonson Street, Byron Bay. The Heather Bar is scheduled to open October 19.