The rebirth of Fremantle’s Federal Hotel continues apace. The latest chapter in the story of this 1887-built watering hole - until recently trading as Rosie O'Grady's - is the opening of Herbert’s Bar on the first-floor balcony. Named for the pub’s original owner, James Herbert Junior, Herbert’s will hold around 100 guests and offer a more specialised cocktail and wine offering to the rest of the pub.

“We’ve given the space something of a New Orleans vibe,” says the hotel’s recently appointed operations manager, Marc Townsend, a former high-ranking officer in the Bread and Circuses group (Mrs Brown, Propeller, Mechanics' Institute, Flipside Burgers). “There’s a sexy lounge area with eclectic furniture and on the balcony we’ve got lots of hanging plants, cane sofas and tables with these Tolix-style chairs. It looks modern but also has a bit of history to it.”

Initially, Herbert’s will open from midday between Friday and Sunday (the hotel is licensed till 1am on Fridays and Saturdays) but Townsend hopes to expand opening hours of the specialist wine and cocktail bar over summer. DJs will supply the music, while the same menu of pub and Asian winners – fried squid tentacles and panko-crumbed chicken breast rub shoulders with steak sangers and burgers galore – will be available in the new area.

Herbert’s Bar opens on Saturday August 20 and will be open from midday Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Herbert’s Bar
Upstairs at the Federal Hotel, 23 William Street, Fremantle
(08) 9335 1645