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Byron Bay pub swaps pokies for ‘green room’

Thu, Dec 20, 8:50am by Staff Writer

Byron Bay’s Beach Hotel has made the transition out of its profit-driven pokies operation and changed its for something non-gambling related.

The hotel has recently launched its replacement, the Green Room.

The Green Room is a new space within the venue that “showcases the incredible booze and food offerings from our local area.”

Green Room to pay homage to region’s ecosystem

In what is considered a dedication to Byron’s lush ecosystem, its food and beverages from the local area and live music, the room is designed to cater to the wider Byron Bay community.

The Beach Hotel is one of the feature establishments within Byron Bay and its move away from pokies allows the venue to focus on entertaining its guests without a gambling focus.

The venue offers a luscious beer garden which provides guests ample views across the surf and is a well known spot for both locals and tourists alike.

It has a strong reputation for supporting live music, both local and international acts.

The Green Room was designed by Sydney-based architect Kelvin Ho. It features an environmental flavour to its layout, featured by minted green stucco-rendered walls, foilage and native Australian recycled timbers.

The new area enhances the venue’s environmental focus, where 90% of the venue’s waste is diverted from ending up in landfill, according to the Urban List.

The menu of the Green Room has been crafted by David Moyle, with a focus on locally sourced produce. Its taps feature a heavily Byron Bay region flavour, from local brewer Stone & Wood and Ballina’s Seven Mile Brewing Co headlining the local list.

New Owners of Hotel Made Pokies Removal a Priority

The Beach Hotel was acquired by new owners IIG for $70 million in September last year.

In an interview with Pro Bono News at the beginning of 2018, head of funds management for real estate at IIG, Darren Busnahan said that the company would prioritise removal of the poker machines, which has now been done.

At the time he said regarding the purchase “we thought that Byron Bay was a great location, as one of Australia’s leading communities around the environment and sustainability. And with the asset itself, we saw that there was some initiatives that could be done instantly to prove that there are more sustainable ways to run a hotel.”

“There are currently 15 poker machines on the site and we will have those removed as soon as practicably possible after settlement at the end of February.”

“And the funds through the sale of those poker machines will be re-invested into other initiatives which include upgrades to the accommodation rooms.”

The Green Room illustrates this plan coming to fruition and the implementation of this new area within the venue is expected to be a hit with patrons.

General Manager of the Beach Hotel Elke van Haandel told Broadsheet of the removal of the poker machines that “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.”

There has been a surge in new dining options in the Byron Bay region, with the Green Room a handy addition to the new offerings available for both locals and visitors to the area.

Van Haandel believes the increasing sophistication of the area’s food scene is a product of both increased tourism to the region but also people relocating from capital cities and desiring quality food and drink options in regional centres.

The Beach Hotel is situated on 1 Bay Street, Byron Bay.

The Green Room is open daily from 3pm til late.


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