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April 20, 2023

Coastal café and bar Nauti Buoy promises a warm winter

Founders of nightclub Loverboy and Pilates studios Studio Spring have teamed up with ex-Peter Rabbit chef Renee Lind to create a seaside café and gin bar in Henley fit for any season.

  • Words and above: Johnny von Einem
  • Other pictures: Supplied

When Harrison Raphael first approached chef Renee Lind about heading up the kitchen at his coastal café Nauti Buoy, it was an easy sell – mostly.


Nauti Buoy
1 Henley Beach Road, Henley Beach South 5022
Tue—Thu: 7am ’til 3pm
Fri—Sat: 7am ’til late
Sun: 7am ’til 3pm


Renee, who came to the project from Peter Rabbit, was intrigued by the location – within a stone’s throw of the Henley beachfront – and was encouraged by being given licence to draw on her commitment to sourcing sustainable ingredients from ethical suppliers.

But she had just one request.

“Her only criticism was: ‘Can we change the name?’” Laughs Harrison. “And we said no.”

Despite not sharing a fondness for puns, Harrison and Renee quickly agreed on the direction the menu should take.

“Her buzzwords were sustainable, local, ethically sourced produce with a seasonal menu,” Harrison says. “It was really perfect to go in that direction.”


Nauti Buoy not only makes use of Renee’s supplier connections, but on occasion references its seaside locale.

The menu features beer-battered King George whiting, sourced from Port Lincoln, and King Prawns from the Spencer Gulf. There are also shoestring fries, if you’re after the full fish-and-chips experience.

These sit alongside a range of familiar café favourites, such as buckwheat granola, avocado toast, crepes, and a panko-encrusted chicken sandwich on rye.

It’s a deliberate attempt to be broadly appealing – as a café should be – but adventurous in the details.

Harrison equates this to his approach when launching the late-night venue he co-owns – Hindley Street club Loverboy.

“With our first times opening the club, we wanted to show people different kinds of music, but you have to supply what people want,” he says.

“We started out with minimal techno and things like that – and that’s all well and good if you want to educate people, but at the same time, you have to give people what they want.

“Equate that back to food, I think Renee’s balanced that really well; not being obvious and the same as every other venue, but still providing people what they’ll enjoy.”


On the coffee front, Nauti Buoy uses Glynde-based 1645 Coffee Roasters, with both espresso and filter coffee styles on offer. The venue is also licensed and opens late on Friday and Saturday nights, with a range of wine and gin on pour.

“It’s a bit of a gin focus without being a gin bar, but a lot of coastal gins and a lot of fresh flavours,” Harrison says.

“[We’re] really trying to bring that wine bar atmosphere at night. And especially in winter, with the fireplace cracking and the winter wine menu, I think it’s going to be really fantastic.”

To Harrison, being adaptable to a coastal climate is also important.

“I think so many venues down that way are so focussed on summer, and obviously you can have a fantastic bar for six months of the year, but then you’re missing out on half the year,” he says.

“So when designing the venue, we wanted to focus on how to make it as cosy and comfy as we can in winter.”

The café opens at 7am every day except Monday, and closes at 3pm on the days it doesn’t open late.


Harrison is not only active in the hospitality scene. In 2021, he and his business partners joined with Lauren Sebastiani to found Pilates company Studio Spring, which has venues in Stepney and Goodwood.

Although the offering at Studio Spring is markedly different from those of Loverboy and Nauti Buoy, Harrison sees they all share a core purpose.

“At the end of the day, it’s people that we’re serving. All of them are service for people, and so we’re just trying to create environments for those people,” he says.

Still, diversifying the types of businesses he operates has been a deliberate move – one spurred on a little bit by COVID, but also the lessons he took from watching a global trend turn against his dad’s business, The Muses.

Founded by Harrison’s grandad in 1968, The Muses was a record store that was passed down to his dad and was a healthy operation up until the advent of streaming in the early 2000s.

“When I was growing up, I always thought that was what I was going to do,” Harrison says. “I grew up in Dad’s office, watching Dad run all of these businesses. Thought it was the coolest thing in the world. But then downloads kind of had a different idea there.”

At its peak, The Muses had six stores across the state, but was sold to Leading Edge Music in 2005. In 2011, the last remaining store, in Rundle Mall, closed, and the business shifted to online sales.

The Muses website is still live today, though not operated by Harrison’s family.

The collapse of the nightclub industry during COVID only served to remind Harrison that it was wise to keep a broad business outlook.

“I wouldn’t be the same businessman I am now if not for watching everything Dad had to go through,” he says.

“And then just growing up, because a nightclub was where we wanted to spend our time at that age, as we’ve gotten older we want to spend a bit less time in nightclubs and a bit more time in cafés and restaurants and bars.

“That’s the direction I see us going in the future.”


This future is not too far away. Harrison hints at a “large-scale wine bar” he and his business partners are planning on opening in the city in a few months.

For now, you can get a coastal coffee fix at Nauti Buoy, located at 1 Henley Beach Road in Henley Beach South, from Tuesday through Sunday.

Connect with the business on Facebook and Instagram.

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