The west coast is home to plenty of drinking establishments with views of the ocean. There is, of course, the Cottesloe Beach Hotel. Little Creatures in Fremantle is another longstanding waterside favourite, while The Shorehouse in Swanbourne is a dangerously easy place to lose entire afternoons.

The Galway Hooker, a 380-person Irish pub from the Ark Group (Market Grounds, The Peach Pit) that opened in January, is the newest member of the bar-with-a-view club. And while it’s less than a month old, the pub looks and feels like it’s been around much, much longer. The wood-heavy aesthetic – built in Ireland and shipped to Australia – is spot-on, right down to the presence of a snug, semi-private room. Live music is a prominent part of the entertainment line-up.

There’s also a strong Irish accent to the drinks list, starting with an obsessive focus on pouring a perfect pint of Guinness. If you ask him, Ark Group bar manager James Connolly can talk at length about the quality of the product, the dedicated coldroom for stout-style beers, and the bar’s fastidiously cleaned tap system – but he’s happy to let the beer (and its drinkers) do the talking.

“The Guinness taps are getting a workout,” he says. “Guinness drinkers are very particular and they’ll let you know when something isn’t right. So far the feedback has been excellent. When you get Irish blokes coming up to you and saying the Guinness is bloody good, you know you’re doing something right.”

Prior to opening, Connolly said he hoped The Galway Hooker would carry the biggest range of Irish whiskies in Australia. At the time of writing this piece, the Irish whiskey bottle count was 57 and rising, with plenty of older, lesser-seen whiskies on offer (such as an 18-year-old cask-strength bottling of Jameson). All the spirits can be enjoyed neat or in an Irish Coffee made with brown sugar, whipped cream and freshly shaved nutmeg (a serving style popularised by Dead Rabbit, an Irish bar in New York).

“There’s a lot of great, interesting stuff that you wouldn’t see in a lot of bars in Ireland, let alone Australia,” says Connolly. “We’ve been open three weeks and almost every bottle has had something out of it. People are really wanting to try something new.”

Irish gins are also available, as is a menu of pub staples such as black pudding, pork sausages and fish’n’chips. On weekends, a full Irish breakfast – including optional Berocca add-on – is served.

The Galway Hooker
3/148 The Esplanade, Scarborough
(08) 6559 4781
Hours
Mon to Fri 11am–late
Sat & Sun 9am–late

thegalwayhooker.com.au