Van Haandels’ Pacific Solution

Pacific Dining Room:

(02) 6680 7055 or

Donning the sandals and shorts and road tripping North towards the sun and sand is an inviting prospect for some in the Southern states. Far from a holiday though, John and Lisa Van Haandel decided to make the trip work for themselves handing over a generous sum to previous owner John Cornell for the Beach Hotel at Byron Bay last year. The two know a bit about restaurants, with a couple of two-hat restaurants under their belts just outside of Melbourne in St Kilda – Circa, The Prince and Stokehouse. The Pacific Dining Room is the restaurant component of the hotel, formerly known as Fins. The Van Haandel’s were intent on bringing a couple of hats with them to Byron, dragging former Circa, The Prince co-head chef, David Moyle with them. The dining room fit-out drags the beach inside, with a white washed palette complemented with pale and aqua blues and a touch of green. Tables made of fibreglass nod to the surf, and a transluscent ‘jellyfish’ chandelier bobs beneath the original vaulted timber ceiling. The restaurant extends outwards into the garden with a scattering of raised seating lily pads affording views of the seaside bathers and passing whales…of the finned type.

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