Benny Ford has opened The Black Anchor bar Benny Ford has opened The Black Anchor bar

Bar drops anchor to fill a gap

When Benny Ford opened The Black Anchor Bar in Norfolk Island last November, he filled a gap in the market. He opened a casual bar where people could relax after work, with a cocktail, craft beer or wine. Open Thursday to Saturday from 5pm till midnight, The Black Anchor serves  ‘pop up’ bar food from offsite caterers – dumplings on Thursdays, tacos on Fridays and American barbecue food on Saturdays.

The Black Anchor is a fitting name for someone who has worked for 20 years as a sea captain, and grew up on boats. Doubling as port manager by day, Ford has lived on the island for three years. ‘Norfolk Island is the place that everyone in Byron Bay

has been looking for but hasn’t found yet,’ he says. ‘People can disconnect and be in touch with nature. The islanders are resourceful, and the food is paddock (or ocean) to plate.’

Ford has created a Norfolk Island cocktail, The White Lady, made from porpay (cherry guava) syrup, gin and lemon juice. ‘A sommelier on the island has curated a great wine list, we have warm lighting – it’s very ‘chill’. When it’s quiet, people just sit at the bar.’Ford is exploring opening offsite for a fourth night in the summer –  on Sundays at the Salt House ruins at Middle Beach, near Emily Bay in Kingston. He’d like to have staging and a DJ.‘People want to spend their evenings on the beach and can watch the sun set behind the DJ.'

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