A shared love of hospitality and the seas brought Bar Elvina owners Andy Emerson and Jesse McTavish together. Emerson co-owned several revered Sydney venues (The Passage, Acme, Bar Brosé and Prince of York), and McTavish – the son of surfing legend Bob McTavish – was co-founded a couple of Melbourne institutions (Top Paddock and The Kettle Black) before heading up the kitchen at North Bondi Fish.

When you visit, the whitewashed walls, sun-drenched terrace and Spanish-style archways instantly recall a coastal taverna on the Mediterranean. An interior design by Caswell Group features pale timber beams and hand-printed textiles lining the window seats that overlook Avalon’s main street. Ex-Mambo artist Paul McNeil drew the logo, menu illustrations and murals both inside and on the facade.

The menu centres on locally-caught seafood, including oysters grown exclusively for the bar at Wapengo and Nelsons Lagoon. The mix of raw, small and larger dishes to share have salty, savoury and big umami flavours. Vegetables also play a starring role, with many of them sourced from the 140-square metre kitchen garden on the back terrace, planted with leafy greens, fruit and native ingredients.

Bar manager Angus Thomson (ex-Barrenjoey House) has created a cocktail menu to reflect his passion for native Australian ingredients and botanicals, while Emerson has pulled together a wine list inspired by maritime influences, with grapes grown close to the sea, or in interesting island locations.

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Updated: July 6th, 2022

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