Wayne Barrett's World

Wayne Barrett About ten years ago a slightly cocky young man asked me about distributing the Reporter in his burger bar. He was full of plans. Wayne Barrett was going to make a mark, change the image of pubs on the Riviera, create a venue that would be talked about. But I’d heard this sort of talk before — hardly a day goes by without someone with stars in their eyes telling me that only they can do one thing or another better than anyone. They almost never do, but Wayne... well, he did.

Wayne’s, next to the Palais de Justice in Vieux Nice is has become “the” pub.Today, Barrett himself is an easy going mature family man (my wonderful wife is my best “ally”) who still talks of his achievements and future plans with enthusiasm but without a trace of that former cockiness. Frankly, he’s great company.

Marina O’Brien and I went to Wayne’s recently on a Thursday evening. It has a reputaion among the young and we inaccurately expected to be the oldest there. The clientelle easily spans two generations and is remarkably cosmopolitan. There were some clean cut French university students, a table of American visitors at the next table, a Briton or two, all vsibly enjoying themselves in a friendly atmosphere helped along by the well-turned out British, staff. The bouncer at the door leaves no doubt that Wayne, a non-drinker, keeps a clean establishment. “No weirdos, no druggies, no monkey busiess – just good food and a good time”.

It’s a welcoming place to spend an pleasant evening or for a before-cinema drink and meal. The bar serves wine and a wide selection of beers including Guinness and Kilkenny on draught. From April 17 Wayne’s will have a Licence IV, which will increase what’s on offer.The food is simple and well-prepared: BBQ chicken or ribs, burgers, char grilled steaks, traditional roast on Sunday ... even onion rings!

Music is a mainstay here. The live band changes weekly, starts about 10 p.m.and plays until closing time at 12:30. There are regular theme nights: ladies night, karaoke, sports evenings, Wayne’s serves meals (and real English breakfast, soon from noon) from14h30 throughout the afternoon. New projects include a real tea-time from 4 to 6 and a tapas and aperitifs from 6 to 9. For a pleasant afternoon or evening Wayne’s the spot. Make it your regular.

From Reporter Issue 78