Between the city’s specialist cheese stores – known as a fromagerie in French – and the launch of a dedicated cheese festival, Perth cheese fans have never had it so good. The latest reason for curd nerds to rejoice? A new bar dedicated to cheese and drinks that play well with cheese is set to open soon in the CBD.

Due to open in the original home of the R&I Bank, Fromage Artisans will be Perth’s first licensed fromagerie, bar and dining room. According to director Danicia Quinlan, Fromage Artisans will bring something unique to the CBD.

“We want to get people talking about cheese and seeing it in a new light,” says Quinlan, the organiser of last year’s Festival Fromage. “We’ll showcase it in the way we love to consume it: surrounded by great friends, great conversation and great liquor.”

Most recently known as the WA Club, Fromage Artisans’ site on St Georges Terrace will be getting an opulent makeover, although the existing bar and dining room will be retained. Among the new additions visitors can expect to find in the space: a giant red lacquer cow lying in a bed of roses, a piece created by artist Abdul Rahman Abdullah for December’s city-wide art installation, The Cow Parade. Although the artwork ties in with Fromage Artisans’ theme, Quinlan says the statue will also serve a practical purpose and help guide guests to the venue’s retail area, events space, pantry and – most crucially – the cheese vault.

“The cheese room is actually located in the old gold safe,” says Quinlan. “We’re in the process of adding ventilation and temperature control to it.”

The cheese room will allow Quinlan and her team to play the role of affineur, a specialist cheese ager that sources cheese from producers and carefully matures them until they reach optimal eating. In addition to stocking an all-star selection of international cheeses, Quinlan says she is looking forward to working with local producers such as Cambray, Kytren and Yallingup Cheese Company.

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“We believe there is a lot for people to learn about how to store and present cheese,” she says. “We want to educate and ensure they make it to people's plates with the highest level of care.”

Although Quinlan hasn’t been able to lock in an opening date, Fromage Artisans will will be running a series of charity dinners at The Palace (108 St Georges Terrace, Perth) from February 10-14 to raise funds for Heart Kids Sweetheart Day. Tickets are $125 and can be purchased online. A pop-up licensed fromagerie will also operate in The Palace’s Heritage Room from February 16-19.

Fromage Artisans
Basement, 101 St Georges Terrace, Perth.