Western Australia has much to thank British architect George Temple-Poole for. During his tenure as chief architect of the public works department between 1885 and 1896, he designed landmarks such as the Perth Railway Station, The Perth Mint and the Fremantle Arts Centre; provided the initial designs for Kings Park; and established the WA chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects.
His latest contribution to Western Australia is lending his name to Pooles Temple, a new late-night jazz bar at State Buildings. Located in the basement of the former Titles Office Building, which Temple-Poole designed (the space was previously home to lounge bar Halford), Pooles Temple is a throwback to classic hotel bars such as The American at The Savoy in London and the Hemingway at The Ritz in Paris.
The custom-made velvet chairs are plush. Gilded mirrors, gold fixtures and Art Deco wallpaper from Australian designer Florence Broadhurst give the space texture. The music is loud enough to be the focal point if you want it to be, but also conducive to conversation. In short: Pooles Temple is well-placed to offer drinkers a better class of pre-game or nightcap.
“Pooles Temple is an underground bar for the global citizen,” says Scott King, director of Pooles Temple. “Our considered bar list and menu is designed to be the ultimate early-evening or late-night experience at the State Buildings.”
The clipped food menu sticks to the French classics. Oysters come three ways (natural, spiked with chilli or brightened with a green sauce). There’s terrine, parfait and charcuterie. The late-night toastie features four cheeses cradled between thick slices of fluffy brioche.
The cocktail list features mostly interwar classics: Martinis headline the menu, and there’s a French 75, a Hemingway Daiquiri and a rye-whiskey Sazerac. The drinks are mixed by bar manager Emma McCulloch, formerly of Varnish on King. And Emma Farrelly, the director of wine at State Buildings, has compiled a tightly edited all-French wine list with champagne, chablis and beaujolais by the glass.
“We want Pooles Temple to be that place where you go and don’t have to make any decisions,” says Ali Bodycoat, community and arts manager at State Buildings.
The bar’s other major draw is its late-night live jazz. The program is curated by Bodycoat, an established jazz singer around the state. Expect to see local musicians performing on Fridays and Saturdays from 10.30pm. Performing on opening weekend are jazz duo Harlem Nocturnes and saxophonist Troy Roberts and guitarist Tim Jago.
Pooles Temple opens Thursday July 16.
Basement of State Buildings, Corner of Hay Street and Cathedral Avenue, Perth
Thu to Sat 5pm–2am
(08) 6168 7780