Bar Heather

Top Wine Bars Etc
  • Wine glass icon
    800+ wines, with organic focus.
  • Fork icon
    Seasonal produce from local Northern Rivers farming community, with Asian and French influences.
  • Dollar icon
    Snacks and small dishes, $8 – $28. Larger plates, $38 – $65.
  • Music notes icon
    Live Jazz on Thursdays
  • Folding chair icon
    40 seats inside, eight outside
  • Wine list icon
    Wine list (indicative)

The lowdown

Fancy a sidestep into Paris while you’re in Byron Bay? Bar Heather presents a lively bar/bistro hybrid, combining a big list of organic wines from around the world in the company of elegant dishes piqued with Asian and French techniques and flavours. Ooh la la!

The regular’s tip

Locals love Bar Heather’s Thursday live jazz, which has become the busiest night of the week. Great food, great wine and an everchanging mix of local jazz musicians

The nuts and bolts

  • Opened 2022
  • Wheelchair access
  • Suitable for groups of up to eight people
  • Loud atmosphere
  • Outdoor seating
  • Open kitchen

After falling in love with Byron Bay, James Audas and Tom Sheer initially decided to open a natural wine shop – Venue Luna Wine Store – but were then inspired by its instant success to also open a combined wine bar and restaurant, directly opposite the shop. The new venue, Bar Heather, which opened in 2022, drew inspiration from all of the owner’s favourite venues from around the world. Parisian bars were definitely an influence, but Bar Heather’s point of difference is its very particular focus.

Sommelier Isabel Perez Fin has built a list of more than 800 wines, all from an organic farming base, complemented by a menu built around seasonal produce sourced from the northern rivers farming community, with the resulting dishes from Head Chef Oliver Wong Hee influenced by Asian and French techniques and flavours. Start with small plates of grilled swordfish or cuttlefish with Okinawa spinach before moving onto mains of quail with sesame and Aleppo pepper, or mahi mahi on white asparagus with brown butter.

The owners liken the sum of the parts to a restaurant where wine is very much the focus. A core selection of wines from organic vineyards leans towards natural, minimal-intervention styles, but also with classically-made wines for those not looking to be too challenged. The wine list is sorted by region rather than variety, emphasising the importance of terroir, and there’s a museum vibe promoted, with multiple vintages and cuvees listed from most featured producers. The list also has a global focus, with about 80% imports to 20% domestic producers, and then specials on pour change frequently to compliment optimal food matching. If customers want to reach beyond the wine list, there’s a signature half-martini and negroni available, along with a small selection of beers.

“The vibe is fun and loud but with food and drink offerings that punch well above their weight,” explains James. “It’s all designed to accommodate the mood of the client. We always save some tables for walk-ins allowing anyone to pop by for a glass or half-martini, or they can settle in to work slowly through the menu of the day.”

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