If you know where to look, it’s possible to find a good drink after midnight in Northbridge without going to one of the big clubs. Connections, of course, is the classic choice, but there’s also Yes Please Perth and its insomniac kitchen crew, while Alabama Song and Joe’s Juice Joint are always on-hand for keeping the party going that little bit longer. Come early 2023, the neighbourhood will have a new late-night drinking option when the
Mechanics Institute crew unveils Finch.

Taking over the old Flipside Burger space beneath the bar – the Northbridge outpost of Flipside closed during the first Covid lockdown in 2020 – Finch is being pitched as the sort of place staff at Mechanics would want to go for knock-off drinks after work: a place where you can order good drinks, have a chat and maybe even dance.

“It’ll be somewhere to get away from Northbridge at 2am,” says Murray Walsh, venue manager at Mechanics. “A lot of us really miss the old Dominion League. It was a place you could retreat to and have a conversation. And the music wasn't going to be too loud but if you wanted to, you could have a bit of a boogie as well. We want Finch to be somewhere that’s a bit toned back, but also fun and bright.”

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Here's what we know so far: the bar will be accessible via the rear laneway with guests able to either head upstairs to Mechanics or get to Finch via a small tunnel. (With a bit of planning, committed guests will be able to visit both venues in the same evening.) In addition to the original Flipside space, the bar will also take over the shopfront next door and the two rooms will be connected by a couple of arches. One of the spaces will be filled with conversation-friendly booths while the other will have tables that will fold away to create a small dance floor where guests can bop and sway to Euro disco tunes.

Drinks-wise, Mechanics bar manager Sil Tsagaris will maintain the cocktail focus from upstairs, albeit without the constant switch-ups that make Mechanics one of Perth’s more interesting drinks destinations (Walsh: “It’ll be a much more stable cocktail list”). Wine, however, will be a focal point, with Tsagaris excited about being able to write a wine list that showcases female winemakers and growers: apt, we think, for a venue management is pitching as Mechanics’ tamer little sister.

“Finch will probably be a little more refined and toned down than her raucous older brother,” says Walsh. “It’s seen some of the mistakes Mechanics has made and is a little bit wiser for it.”

If everything goes to plan, Finch will open in late February 2023 – just in time to catch the tail end of Fringe.

Finch (222 William Street, Perth) is due to open in early 2023.