There’s a lot to love about a beachside bar. From un-beatable views, seaside winds, spectacular sunsets and of course cold beverages, a beachside bar is the perfect place to kick back and relax for summer.
And you can thank local owners, surfers and beer lovers, Tom McGrath and Josh Friend, for bringing Torquay the ultimate summer oasis with Bomboras – the fresh, casual bar to pop-up along the Esplanade overlooking Zeally Bay.
Opened in early November, Tom says the bar is all about exuding a laid back, welcoming feel for anyone wanting to enjoy a drink by the beach, inspired by Croatia’s abundance of beach front bars.
“It is based on a sunset bar, we [Tom and Josh] have travelled a lot and we got the idea and whole concept from Croatia. You go there and there will be one of these every 200 metres.”
Located on the rooftop of Bomboras Kiosk, Tom says the space had been previously under-utilised, making it the perfect location for a beachside pop-up bar for the summer time.
“It’s just a good space for a bar. It’s taken a lot of time to get people’s heads around the concept that it’s not going to be people spilling out drunk – it’s family friendly, it’s welcoming to everyone, and it’s a benefit to the community.”
The bar, named after a type of wave, boasts a beach-shack style décor, complete with wood decking, shade umbrellas, picnic bar tables, wine barrel tables, their very own ‘#bomboras’ polycarbonate cups, an array of coloured bean bags the guys found at an auction and white macrame hanging chairs which they came across on during their trip to Vegas.
“People come up and say ‘oh who designed it for you’, but it all just happens on the fly. It’s whatever is available at the time and where we were – so that’s how a lot of the things tend to get done with us. But it’s worked out really well and people seem really happy with it.”
As for what you can drink, the bar has a variety of local brews on tap, including Furphy, Cockies Surf Coast Blonde, Bells Beach Brewing Southside Saison and their Point Danger Pale Ale, Pressman’s Apple Cider, Yenda Pale. They also serve Amulet Prosecco and Canadian Club and Dry on tap, along with a range of local wines.
“We tried to keep it [the beers] mostly local. We teamed up a bit with the guys from Bells Beach Brewing, who are based here just in Jan Juc, and we work pretty closely with them.
“They are actually brewing us our own beer at the moment, so that should be available come the new year,” Tom says, of their very own ‘Bomboras Blonde’.
“It’s an easy drinking, sort of summer type beer. Quite often the craft beers are heavy pale ales, whereas we said we want something that’s good to drink, session-able in summer, really easy drinking and something that people can have a few of.”
With the option to purchase food from the cafe below (think chunky fries, chilli pork nachos and salt and pepper calamari), this summer oasis would not be complete without live music by the beach, with Bomboras hosting local musicians on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons, with plans to increase to three to four times a week for the summer evenings.
“It’s all about enjoying a nice beer, enjoying a nice wine, nice day, good music, enjoying the view and enjoying the coastline. It’s pretty unique for the region to have something like this. I can’t think of too much that has this view on the water like this.”
Soak up the ambience of what is a genuine gem for the seaside town and enjoy beers with a view.
Bomboras pop-up bar is open from 1pm – 9:30pm Thursday – Sunday up until Christmas, then from 1pm – 9:30pm every day up until Australia Day. The bar will be operating until Easter.
Fill out their survey at your next visit to keep the bar up and running for years to come.
Visit their facebook page for more info.
Written by Talia Rinaldo