Futuristic burger bar Happy Boy opens in Royal Oak

Photography /David Straight

Happy Boy is a brand-new burger bar with a full-on futuristic interior. Royal Oak won’t know what’s hit it.

Sometimes there isn’t much to say about a place – but not because it isn’t impressive, or unique, or fun. Happy Boy is all of these things, but to truly experience this sensory overload of a restaurant, you must visit it. As soon as you step inside Jasper and Ludo Maignot and Celeste Thornley’s new eatery, you know it’s theirs. The group, which now includes long-time employee Louise Chapman as a business partner, has become synonymous with kitschy, high-energy design style at their hit Dominion Road restaurant, Kiss Kiss, and previous ventures; the now-sold L'Oeuf and Chinoiserie.

Now, gazing through Happy Boy’s pink and blue neon-rimmed windows, you feel as though you’re about to be sucked into an old-school video game; once inside, the assault of techno-fluoro colours and hip-hop is almost overwhelming. The interior – as with Kiss Kiss – was designed with help from Harriet Mildon-King and built by Nick Coldicutt, with branding by Meide Studio. “We don't get in big teams to do our fit-outs, rather we come up with the visual and have great talented friends who help us bring it to life,” says Thornley.

Just as the stylistic approach might be familiar to Kiss Kiss fans, so are some of the team, who are working alongside Liam Heath Dargaville, longtime bartender from The Golden Dawn. Food-wise, there is a succinct, American-diner-inspired burger menu with a strong Asian influence, as well as spiked and non-alcoholic slushies, five sides and two desserts. Custom burger bun-shaped bao will be used as a fluffy alternative to regular buns. Just as good, almost everything's priced under $15. Order and pay at the counter. Simple. 

Happy Boy
705a Manukau Road
Royal Oak