An old $2 shop has become the newest addition to Footscray’s drinking landscape. Mr West is a two-storey bar co-owner Josh Hodges describes as a “multi-faceted” neighborhood drinking hole. The venue’s main attraction is a set of 24 taps pouring not just beer but cider, wine and cocktails.
“We didn’t want to be so focused in one area,” Hodges says. “We just love it all, from weird and wonderful lambic beers, to natural wines, to fine traditional wines.”
Alongside local spirits such as Four Pillars gin there are local and international wines, and beers by smaller Australian producers such as Perth’s Feral Brewing and Melbourne’s La Sirene. The latter’s hazelnut ale, Praline, is even used in Mr West’s Espresso Martini, which is currently on tap.
The bar is located in Nicholson Street mall, within walking distance of new Footscray venues such as Bad Love Club, Bar Josephine and Littlefoot, and some of the suburb’s longstanding ethnic eateries.
“It’s a beautiful mall, they’ve just redone it and it’s all looking really nice,” says co-owner Caleb Baker. “We thought we’d just take a chance and hopefully bring a bit more life to the mall.”
Baker and Hodges have created a space that makes heavy use of upcycled materials, much of which came from repurposed $2-shop furniture. The original concrete walls of the 500-square-metre area remain, as do wooden ceiling beams. There’s a mix of booth seating and communal tables, and upstairs there’s a small rooftop courtyard. A bottle shop will open on the ground floor in the coming months.
The food offering is simple – it’s a bar snacks kind of menu; cheese and charcuterie. And the owners encourage people to BYO from surrounding restaurants.
Baker previously worked at now-closed, eco-friendly Perth eatery Greenhouse, and most recently at Custard & Co cider (also in Western Australia). Hodges recently finished up a stint with Feral Brewing, and prior to that worked at Cookie in the CBD.
“When you’re talking to people, if you have a bit of background about the product – that’s what we love,” Baker says. “That’s the romance of booze. The stories of the people behind it.”
106 Nicholson Street, Footscray
Wed & Thu 4pm–11pm
Fri & Sat 1pm–1am