The makeup of Pep's depends on what night you're there. Fridays, for example, are handily the domain of the post-work crowd. On Saturdays, all ages descend on the bar for everything from beer to spirits to wine (Pep's primary stock in trade). On Sundays the crowd is similarly diverse, although there seem to be more locals among the mix. One thing that's common throughout the weekend: the 100-person bar starts to fill from mid-afternoon onwards, so arriving early is a smart move for would-be revellers.
And the wine list is equal-parts fun and esoteric. Greek chardonnays and new-wave, atypical West Australian chardonnays are on the 160-ish bottle wine list, along with classic Margaret River chardys. The Sunday crowd loves to get stuck into the bar’s pét-nats and imported wine stocks. More natural wines are added each week.
The pared-back food menu tilts Italian, with Paul Salmeri of Sal’s Pasta Deli in Cottesloe supplying the cheese, salumi and olives, which staff members assemble on antipasti boards.
Eating and drinking aside, the space’s thoughtful design and mid-century furnishings are another draw, as is the seven-night trading: a non-negotiable when you open a neighbourhood bar that aims to be an upstanding member of its community.