Northbridge only became a proper suburb in 1982. Before that, it was simply thought of as the part of the CBD north of Horseshoe Bridge – hence the name. Until recently, the bridge was the only major link between the city and this northern precinct, which were formerly separated by train lines.
Yagan Square changed all that in 2018. The project sent the trains underground, brought a swathe of new businesses to the area and made moving between the two precincts quicker and easier.
Before the trains, freshwater swamps covered the area. After convicts drained the swamps in the mid-19th century, Northbridge became a viable spot for the construction of hotels, hostels and boarding houses. That period saw the founding of iconic pubs such as the Brass Monkey (originally the Great Western Hotel), which in turn led to Northbridge – and William Street especially –becoming a renowned spot for drinking and revelry.
That image persists today. Northbridge still has the best and most diverse choices for a drink and a party in Perth – along with a number of strip clubs and sex shops, which have given the area a (somewhat deserved) reputation for sleaze.
The suburb is almost as well known for its multicultural dining. Prior to the First World War, a wave of Greek and Macedonian immigrants established a foothold here. After the Second World War, an influx of Italians – and all the cafes and grocers that entailed – joined in.
So regardless of your purpose or the time of day, you’re never too far away from a good coffee, great meal or a stiff drink here.