Benjys Communal Karaoke Bar
Whether you are ‘Born to Run’, you’re ‘Billie Jean’ or you’re just ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’. Benjys is the most fun you’ve had in a while, leave the stress of the working week behind. We sat down with Tim one of the Benjys owners to find out about this new Brunswick East favourite.
We’ve been open since Easter (2018), Benjys is a karaoke bar and beer garden with a kitchen serving vegetarian and vegan food. We’re open from Thursday – Sunday late we’re also opened Monday – Wednesday for private functions.
Byron: Just walking in here the place is colourful and welcoming, I have met you guys before because you engage with people outside your venue and I have seen the place pumping later in the evenings, how would you describe the vibe in here?
We set up Benjys because we feel music is a real universal language, music and songs bring people together. There is so much craziness in the world at the moment. I quit my job after being a social worker for 20 years, I just wanted a complete and utter career and lifestyle change. We wanted to create a place that was fun, laughter, friends and celebration.
It’s a Karaoke bar, but it’s communal karaoke, so no booths, it’s done on a stage out front, we’ve got props and everyone joins in. Sometimes different groups of people choose the same song and they end up going up together and singing together. So it’s really communal, bringing people together, it’s a real community feel in here.
Byron: If I am going to get up and sing in front of people, I really need a little social lubricant so what is the drink offering here at Benjys?
We’ve got two beers on tap, we’ve got packaged beer also, we’re doing increasingly more cocktails, wines and spirits. Cocktails are really popular these days, we’re doing espresso martinis, margaritas and we’ve got drinks specials.
Everything on the menu is vegetarian, anything can be vegan, we’ve just added two pizzas. We’ve got a Meatless Lovers pizza and we’ve also got a fresh veggo, pesto pizza and they are becoming very popular.
We get a really, really friendly vibe, lots of return visitors and lots of birthday bookings, we’ve just had groups of nurses in here, we’ve got a few birthdays coming up, and we recently hosted our first private function. We will open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday if there is a demand for that. Benjys is also available for day time hire for training days, planning/team building days and these days can be fully catered for.
People say that Benjys feels like a house party and some even say it makes them feel like they are on holiday, particularly due to the colours and music. Music is such a massive generator or memories, it brings you back to when they you where high school or university. We’ve got a beer garden out the back, which is also a smoking area, we heat that and we have music out there as well.
Byron: Just so locals can know you a little better, who are you and your business partner?
I’ve been in Australia for 11 years, I am from the UK originally. I had been a social worker for 20 years, last year I reached a crossroads about being a social worker and just thinking about wanting to do something completely different. Jaz is also from London he has been a teacher for 25 years, so I think if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got, ships are safe in harbours but that is not what ships were built for as young people say.. You only live once, we want to have fun, singing, food, drinks and laughter at Benjys.
Byron: A final question, what is you go to Karaoke song?
It changes week to week, I love a bit of Bon Jovi, also loving a bit of M People, but this week it’s probably People are Strange, by The Doors.