Morries bar in Margaret River is more than just a bar. It is home to The WA Good Food Guide Bartender Of The Year, Billy Phillips. His cocktails – not surprisingly – are among the best in WA. He is truly the cocktail whisperer.

Anyhoo, there’s been a changing of the guard at Morries. Englishman Dave Astbury – who was appointed as Assistant Manager about three years ago – has been steadily buying up small parcels of equity from the other owners over the past 12-18 months. It got to the point that he had well over 50 percent of the business and the other partners agree to sell all their shares to Astbury.

The good, no great, news for punters is that Billy is staying on. You’ll still be able to get his celebrated cocktails and cheery banter over the bar.

There are big changes afoot in Morries’ kitchen however. New chef Chris Mitchell – also a Pommie – is changing the food offer. Our spies tell us, the menu may become more British – no problems there: modern British cuisine is one of the hottest food styles around.

Chef Mitchell has had early success. He has put on a very un-British octopus hotdog, which, we are told, “is flying out the door.”

We’ve also been told to look out for an epic Yorkshire pudding when the days get cooler.

Astbury, 29, said his goal “is to continue to offer Margaret River locals and visitors a top quality venue whether it’s a quick catch up over a drink or a lingering night out with bar snacks late into the night, simply coffee, lunch and dinner.”

Good on yer, mate.

Published: Wednesday March 21, 2018. 

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