These secret bars may be tricky to find, but they’re well worth the challenge
Hidden to those who don’t know where to look, Perth is home to many groovy hidden bars, well worth a gander and bevvy or two – from mysterious city alleyways and secretive side street saloons to basement bars.
Gone are the days of tradition and convention: Perth’s bar scene boasts plenty of intrigue these days. We’ve put together a list of Perth’s best hidden bars, so you’ll have no shortage of exciting places to perch with a drink in hand.
Western Australia’s first synagogue was built in 1902, where services continued until 1910, after which it was permanently closed. Since then, the building has been used as an auction mart, rug shop, clothing outlet, art gallery and café. After many restorations and enhancements, the Old Synagogue now functions as a three-storey, 1,000-capacity dining and bar precinct, home to four unique hospitality venues, one of which is L’Chaim. L’Chaim (pronounced ‘la hime’) is the Hebrew phrase meaning ‘toast to life,’ nods to the rich cultural tapestry of the venue. It’s concealed to those unknowing so you’ll have to venture deep below the Synagogue and behind a mysterious bookcase. Only there you’ll uncover a space of moody lighting and plush booths, and the famous grand piano. And if that isn’t cool enough, the quirky collection of décor was actually hand-picked by the team, from local antique and second hand stores. If you’re partial to a cocktail, you’ve come to the right place. Bartender Matt Bodycote is behind the unique and theatrical cocktail menu and knows all the tools of the trade. Located on corner of Fremantle’s South Terrace and Parry Street, L’Chaim is definitely worth a visit.
Inspiration for Convenients came from the vision of a venue that strayed far from tradition. It is Perth’s only live music venue to be primarily constructed by musicians. Convenients resides in the heart of Northbridge, with the entrance hidden inside a functioning convenience store across from Northbridge Piazza. Owner Matt Hatton says, “I thought it would be cool to walk into a regular-looking Convenience store, but hidden behind a fridge door, was a licensed music venue.”
The convenience store theme has inspired many of the menu offerings, such as the M&M Mudslide Surprise, the Bubble-gum Martini and Wizz Fizz Fireball Bang. Coupled with cocktails and beers on tap, Convenients offers burgers, with vegan and gluten-free options so no one will miss out.
- Cocktail bars
- Perth Central
If you’re partial to the Roaring Twenties, say no more. This traditional speakeasy takes its name from Andrew Volstead, the man responsible for the Prohibition Act of 1919, the law that confiscated beer, wine and liquor from every drinking person in America. The Volstead Lounge is a 1920s themed cocktail and jazz bar, hidden behind a painting. (Think the ‘Fat Lady’ portrait that hangs over the Gryffindor common room entrance.) You’ll have to locate the correct book on the bookshelf within Volstead’s study, for the portrait of Volstead to open. The bar is located down an alleyway in the Perth CBD and guests can expect a lavish vintage-inspired space, bursting with live jazz, cabaret and fabulous cocktails.
- Cocktail bars
If you don’t mind a good rum, Sneaky Tony’s has your name written all over it. A hop, skip or stumble down an alleyway in Chinatown and you’ll find yourself at the alluring door of Sneaky Tony’s – Perth’s top secret premium rum bar. If you wish to enter, you’ll have to proclaim the daily password, which may or may not be found on Facebook. With shelves boasting an impressive collection of over 300 rums from all four corners of the globe, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Or go hard on the cocktails. For those after hard liquor, the expert mixologists will pinpoint the perfect drink for you.
Sultry, sexy and a little bit mischievous. If you like our gist, say hello to Perth’s best kept secret disco dance floor. She’s not your typical lady, she’s a ’70s icon, sassy and fun as all hell – a secret bar within a secret bar. All we can say is that you’ll find her in Northbridge’s Chinatown. Find the location, strut up to the bar, say the magic word “Is Toots in?” and receive a golden ticket to get you through her doors. Her menu is a selection of retro Italian nibbles, perfectly paired with the lip-smacking good cocktails on her extensive list.
- Craft beer
A five-minute walk from the Perth City will get you to Northbridge, known for its shopping, cafes, restaurants and entertainment venues, and of course, Joe’s Juice Joint. Joe’s is an eclectic rock’n’roll den inspired by the classic dives of Montana. You’ll have to trot down a laneway, step into the building, amble down the stairs stumble into this late-night basement dive bar. You’ll walk in to the blasting beat of heavy metal music, and you’ll look around to see walls plastered with band posters and neon signs, as well as a goon bag and bras stuck to the ceiling for good measure. A little birdy told us you should really try the fried chicken wings and a giant Tequila-quarium fishbowl cocktail – a couple of crowd favourites that have the people flocking.
- Pub dining
- Perth Central
In the basement of a 1921-built heritage building, perched in the heart of Perth’s CBD is Varnish on King. The interior is a homage to the nouveau dive bars of the United States, while nodding to Perth’s own culture and history with sepia-toned images of the neighbourhood’s yesteryear lining the walls. In true dive bar spirit, Kentucky bourbons and American whiskeys line the shelves behind the bar. It’s a venue that “doesn’t play by the rules” and offers weird and wonderful perks for their customers, such as the ‘Bacon & Whiskey flight’ where four different styles of whiskey are paired up to four different styles of bacon. The food offerings give American classics an Australian twist and will have you licking your lips for more. Their mantra is simple: “We source the best food the best wine and the best whiskey to be able to share it with our guests, who quickly become friends.”
Article originally posted on:https://www.timeout.com/perth/bars/best-hidden-bars-to-explore-in-perth