Burgers: the new battleground in Perth’s north- versus south-of-the-river rivalry? Matt Pound, one of the owners of Varsity Bar, thinks so. At the end of this month Varsity Bar will open a new outpost at the Waterford Plaza shopping centre in Karawara: great news for south-of-the-river residents who in the past had to hit the freeway for Varsity’s legendary burgers and likeable brand of frat-party fun. And just as the original Varsity Bar in Nedlands proved a hit with students from nearby UWA, Pound has Curtin University’s student body in his sights.
“Waterford was the perfect place to open because it was very similar to our setup at UWA,” says Pound, who opened Varsity Bar in 2013 with Fabian Bucher and Ben Maher. The following year Varsity Burgers opened in Northbridge and underwent a recent expansion to keep up with demand. “With the idea to cater for the Curtin crew, we wanted to build an alliance like we have with UWA, then turn it into a bit of a rivalry between the two: Varsity Nedlands to be the north, and Varsity Waterford to be the south.”
What can people expect from the American college-style sports bar’s new spin-off? According to Pound, look for twists to the menu from America’s South, such as ribs and jalapeño poppers. In addition to the usual live-sport telecasts and quiz nights, the bar also plans to offer events inspired by tailgating, the American college ritual of grilling food and enjoying drinks out the back of a car, often before a local sporting fixture.
Varsity Bar Waterford will open in late October and is marking the occasion with a Halloween party on October 29.