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Lately, we’ve been getting a little sneaky. We’ve slithered through the
subterranean, slipped into alleyways and past roped-off entries, and
straight up rerouted the well-trodden track. Why? To uncover the Perth
you never knew existed... words Anna Christensen
We’ve been hearing a lot about speakeasy-style bars lately,
but would venture none take the theme as seriously as
Sneaky Tony’s, the new joint from small-bar alum Clint Nolan.
Not only is entry through an unmarked door in chaotic
Chinatown, you’ll also need a password to get through.
Intimidating, right? Don’t worry, anyone with an internet
connection can find the password du jour on the bar’s
Facebook page, but we’d caution you to watch your cocktail
intake before entering – pronouncing some of the code
phrases is hard enough sober. Once you’re inside – finally! –
expect a saloon-style fit-out, the dimmest lights in town,
and rum. Lots of rum.
Nick’s Lane, Northbridge.
Beaufort Street bar Dominion League popped up earlier
this year, with a brass band brandishing signs encouraging
you to ‘Say YES to mischief’. Although their entrance
was flashy, their basement is far from it, a subterranean
spring that burbles with exotic cocktails after dark. It feels
sophisticated, with plush carpeting, velour lounges, and low
lighting, but don’t mistake the restrained vibe for stuffiness.
Remember their catchphrase?
84 Beaufort Street, Perth.
THE GOLD DIGGER
Now, we ain’t sayin’ she a gold digger... Okay, so maybe
we are. But unlike that twenty-something with her talons on
a credit card, this small bar is here to stay. The hideaway,
originally a Fringe World pop-up, lurks next to the Perth
Theatre Trust, making it an easy venue to walk on by. Don’t.
The vintage mismatched decor, subdued lights and range of
board games creates a chilled-out alternative to Northbridge
sloppiness on Friday and Saturday nights. The large windows
open onto William Street, so you can smugly survey the
drunken chaos from the comfort of your antique chair.
176 William Street, Northbridge.
You wouldn’t know it from the outside, but this Northbridge
venue is tipped to be the new Bakery (RIP), with its focus on
live music and visual arts. In fact, unless you were actively
looking for it, you might miss its understated staircase
entrance altogether. They’ve taken a 70s gambling den
that was left dormant for two decades, and revamped it
into a cool lounge that’s as green-lit as a sci-fi set, with
a cool DJ set up, leather booths and a live stage.
69 James Street, Northbridge.
THE ODD FELLOW
If you wander down the side of The Norfolk, a massive graffiti
piece of a girl’s face smiles knowingly at you. The subject’s
expression probably has something to do with the fact she’s
safeguarding the barely lit cave that is The Odd Fellow. The
basement of the Norfolk – only available through an outside
staircase entry – has brick walls with rough cutaway doors
that make you feel like you’ve tunnelled an underground
escape route. Behind the bar, towers of spirits glint like
ancient artefacts. It’s not just cool to look at though: The Odd
Fellow has some of the cheeriest bar staff out, jugs of fruity
punch, and stacks of local performances.
9 Norfolk Street, Fremantle.
Think you know Freo like the back of your hand? This
laneway is more like a crease on the underside of your finger
– you might know where it is, but you’d never think to look.
Set behind one of Freo’s historic buildings, down one of the
backstreets, and in an alleyway, the spot plays host to pop-up
restaurants and bars. With its rustic walls, makeshift wooden
furniture and speakeasy-style basement for when the open-
air lane gets too frosty, it’s little wonder it’s becoming a go-to
for one-off events like EP launches and weddings. Down
there, you’ll find killer sangria and maybe even a cheeky
Playboy mag. Naughty.
1 Pakenham Street, Fremantle.
Sneaky Tony’s .
Sneaky Tony’s .
The Odd Fellow.
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