THE LOCAL HOTEL
The Seaview Hotel is dead; long live The Local Hotel, a warm, smart-casual pub any neighbourhood would gladly have as its local. “We all live within a kilometre of the pub, so we’re all very Freo-centric,” says Phil Thompson, one of The Local Hotel’s owners. “It’s a little bit about showing off somewhere we love. As well as bringing people to the area that don’t already know about it, we want the people who live around here to feel proud of it, too.”
The neighbourhood has every right to feel chuffed. While Thompson (modestly) refers to The Local Hotel as a corner pub, little flourishes distance it from your garden-variety suburban watering hole.
While almost every bottle on the wine list will give you change from a fifty, the management has gone to the effort of stocking the cellar with interesting, well-priced bottles (Desperado rosé, say, and bone-dry riesling) rather than predictable commodity wines.
The beer selection, meanwhile, includes everything from good ol’ Swan Draught through to modish brews like the sturdy Pirate Life double IPA. Like the grape juice, beer prices are easy on the back pocket, too.
Although the in-house restaurant plays it safe with updated versions of burgers, fish and chips, and other pub standards, weekend food trucks add a little more diversity to the diet.
Still not impressed? What if we told you the hotel has just opened nine (and counting) rooms upstairs? Is there anything The Local Hotel can’t do? 282 South Terrace, South Fremantle.
LATE NIGHT VALENTINE
The well-travelled drinker could describe Late Night Valentine in a multitude of ways: a nightclub that thinks it’s a small bar; a hotel lobby bar, minus the hotel; the old Luxe Bar. All you need to know, however, is that Highgate’s newest drinking establishment is the city’s best place to grab a drink after midnight.
“We wanted to offer something that we felt was lacking in late-night spaces,” says designer Cale Mason, one of the partners behind the nightclub. “We designed upstairs as a kind of LA-style lobby bar. Come in, have a drink and, on weekends, have a little dance. Then you’ve got downstairs, which has this cool little basement vibe where anything goes.”
Visually, Late Night Valentine has all the design flourishes drinkers have come to expect from a Mason-designed venue: strong lines, low lighting, flashing neon. Nonetheless, the space still manages to feel fresh. Perhaps that has something to do with the quality of the drinks offering. The wine list, for example, is anchored in regional strengths, and covers the needs of most drinkers. Then there’s the cocktail selection, an armful of well-made drinks with a focus on crustas, refreshing libations served in coupes rimmed with sugar. Take a bow, Pat Carpenter, Late Night Valentine’s bar manager, not least for helping bring the dangerously drinkable Late Night Valentine Crusta to fruition.
Last but not least, a roster of great DJs keeps the dancefloor grooving ‘til 2am. 446 Beaufort Street, Highgate.
FANCY A BREW?
TREND ALERT Sharing a jug of cocktails is a favourite summer indulgence – and Perth bars provide in spades – but who wants an icy pitcher when the temps drop?
Solution: teapots These cute little vessels hide the naughtiness inside, and allow for hot options on cool nights. Bobeche is known for its old-school offerings – split a pot of red wine-based Claret Cup Henry VIII, or play it safe with a fruity punch. Amani Bar & Kitchen serves up some tasty sangria and classic Pimms, while Wolf Lane takes you to Wonderland with the Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts and Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum.
Looking for somewhere chill to drink? These urban hideaways deliver the goods.
Joe’s Juice Joint
The Laneway Lounge