Bungalow Neighbourhood Social is one of the few bars in the state where guests can preface a drinking session with a gym workout and yoga class, all within the same complex. It’s just one way that this nine-month-old venue feels like a natural fit for the south-west town of Dunsborough.
“Bungalow has this ’60s, mid-century sort of vibe to the fit-out and feel of the place,” says owner Justin Rees, who opened Bungalow in October at the former Samudra site. “We wanted to invoke that old-school, holiday spirit, when people went on road trips and there wasn’t much down here. It has that sort of feel.”
While breezeblocks, wooden features and driftwood stay faithful to the ’60s aesthetic, Bungalow Neighbourhood Social’s food and drink offering is thoroughly contemporary. Its 250-person capacity is spread across various spaces, including an al fresco area designed to make the most of the summer sunshine. In the kitchen, chef Agustin Ortega – formerly of Fremantle’s Young George – oversees the woodfired sourdough pizza program while dishing out big flavoured small plates in the vein of lamb ribs with a coffee glaze; corn and Manchego croquettes; and Peruvian-spiced fried chicken.
Considering Rees owns The Fire Station in Busselton and is the former owner of craft-beer specialty bar The Pourhouse, it’s no surprise there’s a strong focus on local beer, with 16 craft taps installed. Spritzes and gin-based cocktails also chime with the endless summer theme – but the house specialty is wine, with Bungalow’s list almost exclusively made up of lo-fi wines from new-wave producers.
For those eager to geek out on the grape side of things, consider making a booking for the dedicated 40-seat Wine Room (open Thursday to Sunday), where the 100-bottle selection leans right into the natural, minimal-intervention side of things. (Instead of a menu, bottles are displayed on the shelves with selected wines poured by the glass.) On Sundays, pork-belly porchetta and carafes of juicy Montepulciano put a cool twist on the Sunday-roast formula.
Live music and DJs are another major part of Bungalow’s offering. And the venue hosts monthly Desert Island Wine tastings, evening events where local winemakers pour and discuss their wines alongside a selection of other drops. Each guest will also curate the night’s all-vinyl playlist: another way, says Rees, to make wine enjoyable for more people.
“We wanted to make wine a bit more fun and go down that wine way a little bit more than the beer side of things,” he says.
Bungalow Neighbourhood Social
266 Naturaliste Terrace, Dunsborough
(08) 9750 5103
Wed to Sun 12pm–late (The venue will be open daily during summer).