Earlier this month, Broadsheet took stock of the new restaurants and dining rooms that opened around town this year. Now we’re turning our attention to the first-year bars, cafes and pubs – plus a couple of noteworthy bakeries – that have popped up in 2020.
Modus Victoria Park
After winning over the good people of Beaufort Street, team Modus has expanded with a second cafe in Victoria Park’s new Vic Quarter precinct. The move into bigger digs equals more space for guests plus a larger menu with smart, waste-conscious moves such as vegetable scraps upcycled through pickling and fermenting, and ricotta made from leftover milk.
CBD cafe Smooth Operator and coffee roaster Twin Peaks have joined forces to open this underground bunker on Howard Street just off the Terrace. Described by its owners as a “sunken city oasis” and a place to “pause and recharge”, Howard’s Groove offers toasties alongside coffees pulled with an exacting Kees van der Westen espresso machine.
Named after influential architect George Temple-Poole, State Buildings’ newest bar is an homage to the classic hotel bar, à la The American at London’s Savoy and Bar Hemingway at The Ritz in Paris. Descend the stairs to this soignée space with gold and art deco fittings for live jazz, oysters and charcuterie, plus Martinis and other tried and tested interwar cocktails. (We’re looking at you, French 75).
Petition Wine Merchant
More seats, more menu items, more grape-based fun: the rebooted Petition Wine Merchant at the State Buildings leans more wine bar and less wine store (although the space remains home to one of Perth’s finest wine-buying experiences). Engaged staff are on hand to guide you through what’s pouring, while the food offering of tartare, pasta and burgers is designed to comfort rather than challenge.
Durian. Beef rendang. Hainanese chicken rice. Croff Bakery, it’s safe to say, doesn’t (just) bake your grand-mère’s croissants. Instead, Croff owners Giselle Sim and Harold Bong dig deep into their Asian heritage when brainstorming the flavours for their crisp and flaky pastries. The result in a specialist croissanterie that offers highlights from both east and west, with almond and pain au chocolat on offer to appease the purists.
New York-inspired sandwiches come to the Terrace by way of Joey Zaza’s: a bright yellow kiosk from husband-and-wife team, Joe and Michelle Rechichi. Italian subs crammed with meatballs and chicken parma tick the box for American red sauce comfort, while the banh-mi-inspired Razzle Dazzle Pork Crackle is typical of Joey Zaza’s cosmopolitan chops.
“Toasties. Everyone loves them. You just need to not overthink it.” So goes the thinking behind the sandwich bar Eamon Sullivan and Scott Bridger opened at The Mezz in Mount Hawthorn. Simple is the buzzword of the clipped menu, which features fresh, grilled and open sandwiches, plus topped toasts all made with Mary Street Bakery bread. Fillings include roast pumpkin with kale salad and house-made hummus, and hot pastrami with mustard mayo, Swiss cheese and pickles.
Palace Arcade Victoria Park
The Vic Park expansion of Palace Arcade sees the mothership’s winning combination of vintage video games, good drinks and New York-style pizza by the slice transplanted to a bright, cafe-style space overlooking Albany Highway. Mac’n’cheese bites and chicken wings are available to complete the retro gaming and drinking experience.
The Galway Hooker
Set back from Scarborough Beach, this 380-person Irish pub belongs to the bar-with-a-view category, but there’s substance to go with its Gaelic style. (The wood-heavy fittings were built in Ireland and shipped to Australia). The commitment to pouring the perfect pint of Guinness would best be described as obsessive, while Irish beers and whiskies chime with The Galway Hooker’s theme.
For a self-proclaimed “bar about nothing”, Foxtrot Unicorn goes all right. Veteran bartender Dimitri Rtshiladze has built a retro space, filled the back bar and fridges with great spirits, wines and beer, and put together a short menu built around cheese and toasties. All we have to do is have a good time, whether with expertly made cocktails, wine and cheese, or a beer after work.
Miller & Baker
During his four-year stint in Denmark, Mark Taylor learned about the pleasures of baking with freshly milled flour. Back in Australia, he’s putting everything he learned in Scandinavia into practice at this Lake Street bakery that’s turning out sourdough, ciabattas and sweet and savoury pastries to an appreciative audience. Get your baked goods to go or pull up a stool in the cafe space.