River life shaped McHenry
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.