Is there a gap in the Perth market for a sports bar that’s polished of service but relaxed of nature? Brendan Sim, owner of luxe Brookfield Place cocktail bar Bar Lafayette, believes so.
On Monday, Sim welcomed the first guests to Churchill Bar & Restaurant, a pop-up sports bar at the former Trustee space in Brookfield Place. Changes have been minor, although the venue’s angel – once upon a time a ship’s figurehead – has gone, in its place a series of projectors that Sim believes are the biggest on the Terrace. It’s just one example of the space’s new we’ve-relaxed-the-rules spirit.
“Everyone thinks that when you’re on the Terrace, you have to be premium and high-end, but from what people have been telling me, they just want something simple,” says Sim. “They want to chill, drink affordable alcohol and watch TV.”
While Lafayette is famous for its charming, Old-World service style, snappy cocktails and stockpile of high-end booze, Churchill sticks mostly to the sports bar script with Hoegaarden and Stella Artois among the beers on tap. Tap cocktails will also be offered as well while the spirit selection will feature more big brands and less $200-a-shot, 32-year-old Islay whisky. The menu features all the pubby favourites including chicken parmigianas and burgers.
Despite its casual nature, Churchill will still feature the odd Lafayette-ish flourish. Staff, says Sim, will be as personable as those that patrol the mothership with table service offered. In a nod to the venue’s namesake, Pol Roger – the Champagne of choice of British wartime prime minster Winston Churchill – will be poured by the glass.
Although the street-level bar is already trading, the downstairs restaurant is due to open in March. The menu will echo the bar’s casual pub bent but also include a dry-aged meat program with the provenance of every steak tracked.