Beaconsfield Wine Bar brings snacks and sips to a suburban shopping strip

Beaconsfield Wine Bar
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It’s a rainy afternoon when we pull up outside the then yet-to-open Beaconsfield Wine Bar, and we’ll be the first to admit we had a moment of doubt.

Sandwiched between a hairdresser and an aged care office (there’s a metaphysical supply store just a few doors down), we took a second to double check if we were we in the right place.

And yet, inside – a suburban wine oasis!

“I really want it to be a space where you can feel comfortable and come by yourself and just chill out,” explains owner Matt Sharples, who you may have spotted during his years managing South Fremantle stalwart Madalena’s.

Beaconsfield Wine Bar

“I was in Adelaide for a long time before coming to Perth – I’m from England, and moved over about 10 years ago. We then moved over [to Perth] for my wife’s job, and that’s when I started working at Madalena’s.”

“It was just time to do something by myself. In Adelaide before, I was sort of looking into doing my own thing anyway. It’s always been something I wanted to do and we used to live literally just down the road, we saw the space here and it just sort of worked! It’s definitely tiny but I kind of love that.”

Small but mighty, every finish and fitting has been carefully chosen – custom locally made ceramic wine coolers, carafes blown from old wine bottles, vintage bowls – working in harmony with the meticulously made Remington Matters timber furniture that fills the space. A stack of outdoor furniture – the only furniture not made by Remington – is ready and waiting to fill the pavement outside.

“There’s nothing really around here, so I just wanted a little neighbourhood wine bar – and all the musos and hospo people from Freo live in Beaconsfield.”

Matt has utilised a whole raft of said hospo folk to bring Beaconsfield Wine Bar together on both the food and wine fronts. His vast cellar is stocked with plenty of South Australian friends, as well as local producers, while snacks harness some of the buzziest local names in bread.

“The wine list will cover everything really, I want to be inclusive to the neighbourhood. I don’t want to push anyone away by purely being natural, but there’ll be a lot of natural and low intervention wine on the list, purely because that’s what I like to drink most of the time. But definitely also a lot of classics: anyone can come here.”

Beaconsfield Wine Bar

“Hopefully we get to a point where people trust us enough to just be like, this is my mood, you know what I like. And we’ll have the freedom to open quite different stuff – it’s quite a small by the glass menu at the moment, but that’s kind of intentional: if there’s a lot of people in that are like ‘I could die for a chardonnay from the Adelaide Hills’, then let me just go get something.”

“And the by the bottle list, for how big we are… It’s kind of ridiculous. Close to 200 different bottles.”

“I love the idea that you can come here and spend $50 on a bottle of wine and it’ll be delicious, but maybe it’s your birthday or you just got engaged and you live around the corner, you can have a nice $300, $400 bottle of champagne. It can encapsulate everyone – we’re not just an expensive place, we’re not a cheap place, we do everything. And I always want to have friendly prices on by the glass, you know? Especially right now in this climate, having a $10 glass of wine is quite important. I wanted it to be a place where people can come two or three times a week and not just, once every couple of weeks.”

“It’s going to be, obviously, predominantly wine. There’ll be a couple of beers, some non alcoholic – actually a fairly substantial non alcoholic options: Mischief Brews, Cielo Soda which is super new, they’re done by a chef and a friend who used to work with him put me onto them, super fucking delicious. And then you’ve got T.I.N.A from Melbourne, too.”

Beaconsfield Wine Bar

The first week’s menu features a concise collection of bites – gildas, anchovies, saucisson, duck pate and the like, alongside slices of Teeter Bakery pithivier and Basque cheesecake to finish.

“Food is very much snacks, and along the same line of keeping it all quite simple, but also delicious. We’ll source most of the bread from Everyday Bread and Hunter Bread, and maybe some savoury pastries from him as well. I used to work with Tash [from Teeter Bakery] as well.”

“We’re not going to have a chef so stuff that’s delicious and still quite filling, like the pithivier – you know, you’re going to get a good slice.”

Beaconsfield Wine Bar

“Jackson, who’s going to be working here full time, in Europe he noticed a few places where they did ‘a bit of everything’ – and that’s what we’ve got, you can literally just be like ‘Can I have a bit of everything’, there’s a couple of different sizes – I really liked the idea of just being able to give someone a big plate with loads of different stuff. Kind of like a set menu for a snack!”

“I always wanted to have a really delicious desserts – we’ll probably start with the cheesecake and maybe grow, get like a gelato… I also like the idea of walking home and you can pop into the bar and have a dessert and a glass of wine – just a quick little cheeky dessert or cheese. We’ll have quite a good selection of cheese, and probably not all of it on the menu.”

“We’ll grow and hopefully try and also do pop ups with local chefs – we’ve got some friends who want to use the space, maybe have a little barbecue out the front and the space can be used.”

Beaconsfield Wine Bar

“It’ll be table service here, even though it’s a wine bar. I have a service background and I think it’s something that lacks in a bar setting. It’s very European, right? Just sit down and we’ll take care of you. That’s what I really want to bring is just like, we know what we’re doing, you guys just have a seat and we’ll come over and sort you out.”

Beaconsfield Wine Bar is now open, and is located at Lefroy Square, corner of Lefroy Road and Gibson Street, Beaconsfield.

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