Once you see the huge golden Buddha glowing in the fairy lights behind the bright white picket fence, you’ll realise this enticing venue was named for the street location, not for any underworld connection.
If you’re looking for an airy outdoor bar and eatery, the Henchman offers the most spacious, interesting and laid-back beer garden on the coast. Buddha sits serenely amongst the palm fronds and white umbrellas, welcoming visitors (and their furry friends) into the extensive beer garden, which comes complete with turf underfoot, white picnic tables, rustic repurposed barrels, a huge rope swing and hammock, a Balinese beach cabana and a striking wall sized white tiger mural.
Behind the Henchman sign, the upstairs area of this is of this multi-faceted venue offers a stunning naturally-lit space, complete with a pool table, perfect for private parties and functions. While the indoor bar downstairs is an ode to 90s grunge with its wall-sized black mural of Kurt Cobain, overlooking the musicians’ corner complete with its well-loved piano, guitar and amps ready for the talent’s tunes.
As you venture in towards the brightly lit and well stocked cocktail bar you pass an eclectic mix of tributes to pop art icons and cultural influences adorning the walls icons – there’s the rat pack larger than life in black and white, alongside Amy Winehouse staring seductively in a tattoo-style portrait, next to dark-eyed but colourful abstract Frida Kahlo, beside the neon red-lit skull saluting Dead Man’s Fingers spiced rum, among the various mounted horns and antlers.
It is, however, the slick repurposed gunmetal and timber shipping container where the magic happens – serving all-day eats and organically roasted brews from dawn, care of the Byron Bay Coffee Company. The Henchman proudly sources local produce from selected farms with animal-friendly practices, and hosts a range of gluten-free and vegan-friendly menu options.
The breakfast menu offers big bowls – Açaí, Tropical Paradise and Pink Passion – and traditional brekkie favourites alongside the Kransky hash stack, the How Dao Dat, the Smashing Pumpkins and Piggy Rolls. Have some fun with the three Puff pastry jaffles options, cheekily named the Morning Glory, Pretty Pumped and The Italian Stallion.
There’s a hilarious kids menu offering favourites like the ‘I’m not hungry’ toastie and the ‘I want to go home’ scrambled eggs and bacon. Later diners can choose from bar snacks or grazing plates, seafood or salads, or favourites like the Snoop Doggie hot dog and the Henny burger or Rooster grilled sandwich. And of course, along with the bar list of cocktails, beer and wine, by day the Henchman offers all the tea, smoothie and juice options you might want.
Come for a swing today!
By Michaela Lyons
6/8 Henchman Ave