By Kerrie Robertson
A funky burger bar which wouldn’t look out of place in Adelaide’s vibrant laneways is drawing in regional crowds and reinvigorating a local live music scene in the Riverland.
It all started when local couple Jarrod and Kylie Loxton renovated a vintage caravan, turning it into a mobile bar for weddings and private functions in 2015.
“We named it after my pop, Ted, because he was a bit of a character,” Jarrod says.
Ted was soon followed by Ruby, a 1956 Carapark Caravan – complete with porthole windows and named after Jarrod’s grandmother.
They leased a shed off Mill Road in Loxton (yes, the couple’s surname is also Loxton), to work from while renovating the vans – that then turned into Here’s Your Beer, a pop-up themed burger bar in November, 2016.
“That went gangbusters,” Jarrod says.
Shortly after, the couple was approached by the Moorook and District Club with a proposal – the venue, about 30km down the road was struggling to remain viable – did Jarrod and Kylie want to take it on?
“It wasn’t part of the plan,” Jarrod says.
But they took it on anyway and Locky’s Place was born.
The business now has three components – the vans which appear at various events, Here’s Your Beer Burger Bar at Loxton and Locky’s Place at Moorook.
“Our main objective was to create a job for myself, I’ve been in hospitality since I left school but always worked for other people,” Jarrod says.
“We’ve grown over the three years and now employ 13 people including our daughter and our two eldest sons.
“It’s lots of hard work but it’s pretty enjoyable.”
Here’s Your Beer has a ‘pop-up restaurant’ feel and features an eclectic mix of vintage/retro furniture – much of which has been sourced from local garage sales and is often recognised by patrons.
Meanwhile, down the road at Moorook, Locky’s Place has been renovated with an “industrial New York” theme, and features booths and polished concrete floors.
Both venues often feature regular acoustic performances while jam sessions are held at Locky’s Place.
It’s not only local musicians who are put in the spotlight at Jarrod and Kylie’s venues, but produce is sourced from the local IGA and the local bakery supplies the hamburger buns.
The beverage list boasts lemon coolers from the Arnold Brothers at Loxton, beers from the Woolshed Brewery near Renmark and ciders from Jachmann at Loxton.
While you’d expect a trendy bar of this type would be popular with a younger crowd – which it is – it’s also proved a hit with older generations.
“I cannot put a blanket over the clientele, older people make a good proportion of our customers,” Jarrod says.
“I think they like that it’s casual and different to what they would normally go to and they get a good hearty meal. They’ll often walk in and say ‘this is a pretty cool venue, are we old people allowed in?’”
The burger bar menu is “pretty simple – we’ve added to it as we’ve gone along”, according to Jarrod.
It boasts eight burgers including the popular ‘Humdinger’.
“The kids in the kitchen created that one day – it has hash browns, onion rings and a beef burger – it’s become the most popular on the menu,” says Jarrod.
Header photo courtesy of Stephanie Thompson, The Loxton News.
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