Until recently, small bars in Perth didn't hold liquor licenses. With new licensing laws that have enabled these small town joints to serve up cocktails and international wine and beer selections, new life has been breathed into these establishments. Here are seven of the top small bars in Perth that you must visit at least once.
Simple and quaint, Ezra Pound offers a small town American bar feel, without compromising the quality of drinks. Classic cocktails are served up in stylish glasses, while Motown hits play in the background. The bar is minimal in design and features a vintage cash register that keeps consistent with the picturesque tone of the bar. Perhaps that is what is so interesting about Ezra Pound; it combines furnishings both old and new to interest people of all backgrounds. Benches that resemble church pews are a bit worn, while stylish chairs are perfect for chatter. Although the bar is known for its old-fashioned cocktails, it also has a bi-monthly rotation of wine selections. The charming small bar is nestled between James St. and Aberdeen St. and could be missed if you weren't looking for it.
Serving up some of the best tapas around, Amphora's Bar is a great little restaurant that takes on a Spanish theme. Restaurants are always trying to get their tapas right, but it's Amphora’s Bar that has mastered the dishes. One worth trying: The roast baby squid with chorizo sauce. The bar may be small, but it's getting a lot of recognition for its ability to bring a taste of European culture to Australia. In addition to a diverse tapas menu, the bar serves up tasty cocktails and has a bountiful wine menu. The wines are reasonably priced and include international selections. The atmosphere is rather sophisticated, as the bar offers leather chairs and stone and timber details that are polished to a shine.
Put yourself in the New York scene at Wolfe Lane, a premier small bar settled in Perth. Those who have visited the bar say it is inspired by Melbourne, located down in the alley and easily missed if you didn't know it was there. With the NYC skyline mural and contemporary seating, this small bar is everything but simple. Classy and sophisticated, it offers a VIP feel that offers a young and cheerful crowd. The cocktails are served in old-fashioned glasses and DJs keep the atmosphere lively with an assortment of music. Cool, crisp lighting and wooden floors add to the stylish setting, but doesn't compromise the welcoming attitude of bar-goers.
Known for their scotch, Helvetica is a small bar that requires a walk through a dark alleyway to get to. With a diverse wine and tapas menu, many of the regulars come to Helvetica for their scotch selections and cocktails. In fact, you can select a bottle of scotch and return to drink from it each time you visit. The small bar offers a tasteful setting, starting with a chic door greeter that sends apologies to those who have to wait. The establishment holds less than 100 people, which is a good thing considering guests can purchase bottles and have them shelved for storage. While Helvetica prides itself on its fanciful cocktails, male bar-goers agree that the drinks are rather masculine.
Bar 399 is the perfect blend of cozy seating and hip decor. The small bar is lined with welcoming booths that are perfect for banter, while smooth jazz tunes play through the speakers. Long and narrow, the bar runs deep along the establishment and sleek stools are situated on one side. Unlike other local establishments, 399 doesn't have a traditional cocktail list. Instead, guests can have any concoction mixed, leading to some tasty drinks that won't be found at the other bars. And of course, each drink is beautifully presented, with cute umbrella sticks added to each. The relaxed atmosphere and friendly crowd make this the perfect place for hanging around.
Andaluz is one of Perth's newest small bars. It's hidden in the CBD of Perth and guests have to go down a flight of stairs to get to the bar. With blue lights at the feet, the small establishment quickly becomes a treat like none other, with cozy separate tables, vintage décor and leather lounges. With warm tones of amber reds and chocolate browns, the quaint bar is cute and intimate. The decor is so pronounced, many bar-goers feel as if they've entered a 1920s movie set. With a tasteful tapas and wine menu, Andaluz is great for those that are looking for a step up from standard bar food.
The Stanley is a great little suburban bar that offers a food and drink menu for just about anyone. All guests will feel welcome at The Stanley, which offers a comfortable, quaint atmosphere with cosy chairs and a diverse wine menu. With international wine and beer selections, you can expect that whatever you order will be served by friendly waiters. More interestingly is the relationship that The Stanley has with the burger joint next store, Flipside. Order a burger and have it delivered, while waiting with a drink in hand. This small town bar works out the kinks that other bars have, and offers a welcoming atmosphere that doesn't compromise the quality of food, drinks and fun.