Restaurant group Three Blue Ducks has switched up its Byron Bay nightclub, Locura, relaunching this month as an intimate wine bar, Oma. The 60-seat bar showcases a decidedly more refined approach to the simple real food that the Ducks are known for.
Located on bustling Lawson St, Oma is an ode to the energy and passion of the boys behind Three Blue Ducks. The group was inspired by the category 3 Tropical Cyclone Oma that swept through Byron Bay in 2019, leaving no damage, however 11 days of perfect swell and surf in its wake.
Leading the kitchen, chef and co-owner, Darren Robertson has curated a menu showcasing the best of the region’s sustainable produce and ingredients. Menu highlights include ramen eggs (pasture-raised egg, marinated in soy, farm ginger and locally grown cinnamon myrtle), pippies with Oomite XO served on sourdough crumpet; as well as a ‘deli’ section of smaller snack-style dishes, such as house-made venison prosciutto with beetroot umeboshi, and blue cheese with spent bread and honeycomb.
“Where Locura was created with a younger crowd in mind, Oma is like the big sister to some of our other venues,” says Darren. “The menu retains a lot of the comfort food that our customers have grown to love, while also incorporating smaller snacks for those who want to stop by for a glass of wine and something light. We’re working with some amazing local producers on the menu, so we’ve tried to strip things back and let the produce shine through.”
Group Beverage Manager Mem Hemmings has curated a straightforward and approachable 50-strong wine list of exclusively organically grown, minimal intervention wines from around the world. There will be 10 wines minimum in each category across red, orange, rosé, white and ‘fizzy’, encouraging customers to try multiple different drops and experiment with some more innovative blends. The drinks menu purposefully champions women in wine, as an ode to both the incredible women in the wider industry and those within the Ducks team itself.
“Natural wine is here to stay,” says Mem. “It’s time to shake off the shackles and broaden your wine drinking horizons. We want to offer this in a totally accessible way! We want to see our customers sloshing around orange wines, sipping down chilled reds in the open air and celebrating the summer with a shit hot pet nat. Throw down the tools and get stuck in.”
The group has taken a hands-on approach to the design, collaborating with local artists and designers to bring the venue to life. The walls feature a striking mural and prints by local Byron Bay artist Karlee Mackie (MLAK), with soft lighting and earthy floral arrangements by well-known local florist Nikau completing the venue.
6 Lawson St, Byron Bay NSW 2481
Open: Thursday to Monday, from 5pm until late
Bookings available via omafoodandwine.com / (02) 9138 0852, walk-ins welcome for drinks, snacks or dinner.
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Images: Kitti Gould