River life shaped McHenry

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Westernopin­ion -

At 65 years old, he is ur­bane and un­tir­ing.

First opened in 1908 as the Ned­lands Park Ho­tel, the pub be­came known as Steve’s af­ter Mr McHenry’s fa­ther Stephen, who ran it from 1935 un­til his death in 1958.

As a child, Mr McHenry would of­ten ride his horse Sil­ver (that sta­bled at the pub) to school and around Ned­lands fore­shore.

Known as the ‘uni pub’, Steve’s was al­most a vic­tim of its own suc­cess.

“There would be twice the amount of peo­ple try­ing to get in as we could fit in,” Mr McHenry said.

“We’d set out to get about 1000 peo­ple, but there’d be at least 1000 wait­ing to get in. Peo­ple would be jump­ing over fences. It was crazy.”

Steve’s hosted one of the first gigs ever played by founders of INXS the Far­riss brothers.

Mr McHenry later re­de­vel­oped it into a bou­tique wine bar and bistro.

The orig­i­nal pub was re­born as four mod­ern apart­ments, pre­serv­ing the orig­i­nal ve­ran­das, pressed metal ceil­ings and the grand cen­tral stair­case.

So what does he think has changed in Ned­lands over the years?

Mr McHenry said he prac­ti­cally lived at the river as a child.

“To see a Satur­day af­ter­noon on the river in sum­mer with all the spin­nakers fly­ing about 4 or 5 o’clock was a mas­sive sight,” he said. “You al­most couldn’t see the wa­ter.” Mr McHenry con­stantly refers to his achieve­ments as “the jour­ney” – a jour­ney rooted firmly in the life and com­mu­nity of Ned­lands.

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