It’s a good time to be thirsty in Perth. Whether you’re after somewhere cosy and quiet or big and loud, the city’s current crop of new watering holes has you covered. Here’s a wrap of our favourite bar openings (so far) for 2019.
Technically, the baby brother to Tiny’s opened at the end of December but it wasn’t until the new year that most of Perth got its first look at – and taste of – Panama Social’s neotropical good times. In a brightly coloured space, venue manager Tom Kearney and his crew mix equally easy-going drinks starring rum, tequila, pisco and many a house-made ingredient. Chris Howard’s punchy cooking – jerk chicken wings! frybakes! – match the drinks in both fun and deliciousness.
Duke of George
Dinner and a show? You can now experience this magical one-two in East Freo following the opening of the Duke of George, a cosy New Orleans live jazz and blues bar in the suburb’s former paintbrush factory. While the early birds get the best seats in the house, everyone has access to good drinks and sharp Cajun- and Creole-inspired cooking.
Inspired by the neighbourhood botecos of Rome, Barcelona and Sao Paulo, this South Fremantle seafood and wine bar was a hit from day one and rightly so. The location is sunny and breezy (and in walking distance of South Beach), the list champions small new-wave producers, and Andrew McConnell alum Adam Rees serves punchy seafood and vegetarian plates.
Also from the department of neighbourhood wine bars that rock: this relaxed, multipurpose space in Bayswater. Part-bottle shop, part-pizzeria, part-neighbourhood hangout and all fun, King Somm is the sort of place every postcode would love to call its own. And did we mention dogs are welcome too?
Goodbye Fly By Night, hello Freo.Social, an ambitious 900-person live music venue from Triple-1-Three of Otherside Brewing Co fame. Unsurprisingly, Otherside’s brews are available throughout the venue alongside other local and international craft beers. There’s also wine on tap, plus a far-reaching menu that includes cheeseburgers, barbeque meat and other American diner favourites.
Even on a Wednesday night competition is fierce for a seat at this 60-person small bar on Wembley’s main street. It’s easy to see why. Tania Nicolo and Ryan Bookless’s newest opening crackles with the same Italianate energy as Monsterella, the wildly popular pizzeria the couple opened a few doors up. Come for the warm vibe and smartly chosen vino and aperitivi: stay for handmade pasta and personable service.