Inside Pixie, Byron Bay’s new ’70s-inspired Italian dining destination

Pixie Byron Bay
Pixie - Flack Studio

With a chic, 1970s-inspired design by Flack Studio and all-day menus of modern Italian cuisine, Pixie brings a contemporary European coastal vibe to Byron Bay.

Byron Bay, just the name conjures so much. Everyone has a Byron memory fuelling a rose-tinted ideal of the perpetual holiday. Enter Pixie, the new restaurant from Flack Studio, and those rose shades abound and it really is as good as you imagine it might be.

Located within what is taking form as a designer/dining enclave with Venroy, Deji Studios, Nagnata, and Light Years (Pixie’s sister restaurant), the Jonson Lane Precinct is shaping a new view of Byron. Pixie brings to this mix a robustly design-led experience that sits perfectly with the Italian menu and Byron surrounds.

Taking inspiration from the Italy of the 1970s, Flack Studio’s design pays homage to mid-century architect Gae Aulenti, whose Pipistrello Table Lamp takes pride of place on the bar. Aulenti is best known for her architecture and design for Musée d’Orsay and the Contemporary Art Gallery at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Additionally, Aulenti was a prolific designer across furniture, stage, lighting, exhibition, and interior design and was known for never discriminating between old and new, but rather, giving preference to whatever was right for the project. To this end, Flack’s rich and layered material palette feels right at home with furniture and lighting mixing up eras.

At centre is a magnificent zig zag-faced pink marble bar with a striking steel hood with round, port hole-like features. Recessed into the high-gloss ceiling, the light glows golden red across the ceiling and shimmies like molten amber across the wall at the back of the bar. Surrounding the bar is a small floor inset of pink and white diagonal stripes of marble before terracotta becomes the main. This too is Flackified with randomly placed and sized inserts of pink terrazzo.

Great lamps from the canon of unusual icons form a European signature in this project. Dotted throughout are Pietro Chiesa’s Luminator Floor Lamp, Todia Scarpa’s Butterfly Wall Lamp, Mario Botta’s Shogun Lamp, and vintage crystal art wall sconces, all carefully placed to evoke a cool sensibility. The wall sconces are a particular delight of the ’70s mood, with freeform layers of glass lit from behind for a nimbus effect. Flack’s material palette, comprising layers of burnt terracotta, mushroom browns, pinks, buff, and the deep sea green of glossy wall tiles, gives the whole a ’70s swagger, but the sharpness of detail is entirely contemporary.

Quintessential ’70s Cab Stools and Chairs by Mario Bellini (1977) are paired with a large bespoke banquette in ruched claret leather for a relaxed ambiance that affords each patron ample room. And, in doing so, sums up the relaxed vibe of Byron as the sun pours through the slimline Venetian blinds, glows through the amber glass screen, and fills the room with joy.

Photography: Anson Smart

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