Bayfield Family Celebrating 40 Years at Dee Why Hotel!
A Brief History
2017 marks the 40th anniversary of when the Bayfield Hotel Group was launched, with the Bayfield family taking over Dee Why Hotel on the 27th March 2017. Over the past 40 years, brothers Mark & Wayne Bayfield, along with their late father, Neville, expanded their pub portfolio, all while maintaining their family-run authenticity. In the true meaning of family business, Neville’s only grandson Kaine has recently been named as Chief Operating Officer for the business.
When Wayne finished school, his Maternal Grandfather Bill (who spent his life working and managing pubs for over 50 years) arranged a casual job for him in a pub, and Wayne was instantly hooked. Around the same time, Neville’s professional life changed and he decided to invest in a hotel with Bill. Not long after, an opportunity came up to take on Dee Why Hotel. So on Wayne’s 19th birthday they took over the hotel and a short time later, Mark joined them in the business.
Despite the success and growth of the business, Neville always put his family first. “Our dad lived his life for his family, and being publicans, having family work in the business was very important,” said Wayne. “We have been very fortunate that mum, dad, Mark, Yvonne, Sharon (Mark & Wayne’s wives) and myself have had a great relationship and can work together.” To this day, The Bayfield Hotel Group remains a tight-knit family, with many members currently working in the business.
Presently, the group boasts an impressive portfolio that includes Dee Why Hotel, Bayfields Liquor Superstore at Dee Why, Bayfields online and most recently, the purchase of The Light Brigade in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. They previously owned The Caringbah Hotel, The Belrose Hotel, The Sands, Newport Mirage and are known most famously for The Newport Arms, which they owned for a remarkable 24 years!
They have come a long way since 1977, as Wayne simply put it, “When I started we had 3 beers on tap now over 40, no TAB, no pokies, no entertainment, not even a ladies’ toilet in the public bar, just counter meals and a small drive-through bottle shop.”
Dee Why Hotel
The Music Scene
After the Bayfields took over, Dee Why Hotel became the forefront of the Northern Beaches night life. During the early 80s ‘The Glider Room’ and ‘Jade’s Place’ named after Wayne’s eldest daughter, became very popular among the locals. In the late 80s, it was transformed into ‘The Venue’ and became Sydney’s hottest live-act venue, featuring the likes of INXS, Midnight Oil, Cold Chisel, Jimmy Barnes, John Farnham and many, many more.
Being a hands-on man, Wayne used to manage the music bookings and was always on the hunt for new talent. After a friend recommended a relatively unknown band called Moving Pictures, he could only offer them a Monday night spot. After continuously playing to a full house every Monday they naturally asked for more money. Not thinking it was worth the $500 investment, they were initially given the boot. The next time Moving Pictures played at Dee Why Hotel, it cost him $5,000!
During the 90s and naughties, ‘The Jet Club’ became the place to be as the Northern Beaches largest and most popular mega-nightclub. Crowds would line up around the street just to get in, and then party into the early hours of the morning. And all the while, Mister B’s Sports Bar, with its 28 TV screens and walls of endless sports memorabilia, satisfied the local sporting fanatics.
Time To Change
As the years ticked by and the live music landscape changed, it was time for Dee Why Hotel to adapt. In 2007, they closed their doors and underwent a three year multi-million-dollar development that included a new hotel and bottle shop, shopping centre, commercial offices and residential apartments.
In August, 2010, it was reborn into a vibrant, eclectic bar that focused on intimate live soloist performances, a stand-out brasserie menu and a buzzy bar experience. It was important that the new Dee Why Hotel maintained its heritage and authenticity. Today, the hotel is more famously known for the ‘beaches best burgers’, as well as having the biggest range of beers with over 100 different options to choose from. It’s a destination venue for sports fanatics who can always catch their favourite games live on the big screens.