First up, let us apologise for using the word “quirky”. While it is the worst, there truly is no other word that describes something being quirky other than the word itself!
None of ’em quite work how they should, so forgive us for rolling with quirky. We trust you – beloved Perth Is OK! readers – to get what we mean, and below you’ll find a bunch of bars we love simply because they’re a little bit…different.
Rodney’s Bait & Tackle
We couldn’t NOT kick off this list with a bar that features an old old wooden ship as its main attraction. Combined with incredible maritime décor that adorns the walls (think stuffed animals, all navy art, diving helmets, crab nets) and it’s not hard to see why Rodney’s Bait & Tackle has become a hit in Mosman Park.
598 Stirling Hwy, Mosman Park
So this is the first a couple of brand new bars that inspired us to get stuck into this whole “quirky” list in the first place. Convenients has just opened on Lake Street and to get through to the dimly lit small bar at the back you’ve first gotta pass through the fully functioning convenience store out the front. On the weekends the place lights up with live music from some of Perth’s heaviest rock’n’roll and punk acts, and during the week you can pop in for some excellent food and booze at great prices.
Video by @florenceelizabethsong
35 Lake St, Northbridge
The second of these said bars is the brand brand new (as in just opened this week) Toots – a secret bar found WITHIN a secret bar. From the Lavish Habits team (who have a couple of joints that feature in this list), Toots can be found somewhere within Chinatown and will transport you into a 70s-era discotheque, with a drinks menu flush with old school throwbacks and vintage cocktail shots like a Buttery Nipple. There’s a retro Italian food menu to snack on before the tables and chairs are cleared and the disco-fuelled dancefloor opens up.
We don’t know!
Head upstairs at Lucky Chan’s to visit Johnny Mo’s rooftop bar, where the vibe and theming of the venue is on high rotation. At the time of publishing the bar was going full Breaking Bad called Walter White, bringing some special chemically-induced flavours to the rooftop bar, including the Pharmaceutical Stimulant: vanilla vodka, cacao, coffee on nitro, vanilla icecream and miso caramel.
311 William St, Northbridge
While Perth is not short on fantastic Mexican joints, Caballitos probably leans into its Mexican heritage the most theming-wise. It definitely feels like a little cantina you could stumble into in a tequila-haze off the street, and their 200-strong collection of tequilas and mezcals won’t help you once you do! Also it’s underground, and for reasons only known to the owners, a pole in the middle of the dancefloor – the rest is up to you!
Basement Level, 26 Queen St
If you want to feel like you’re sharing a cocktail with a bunch of pirates and sailors from back in the 1800s then head due south for Darling Darling. You might not get in on account of it being a proper small bar, but if you do you’ll enjoy some excellent cocktails and free peanuts to keep the scurvy away.
Photo by Seng Mah
36 Henry St, Fremantle
Hula Bula Bar
Arguably one of Perth’s OG quirky small bars, Hula Bula Bar is still going strong on Victoria Ave in the CBD with their rum-based tiki mug cocktails. Helping city workers forget the stress of daily life for years now, Hula Bula is as alluring as it is dangerous (when it comes to the potential of you being hungover the next day).
12 Victoria Ave, Perth
When it comes to full blown Americana vibes, it’s hard to go past the rootin’ tootin’ rockin’ and rollin’ vibes of Alabama Song. It’s loud and full of delicious American Diner-style fried snacks, and plenty of whiskey and rye to keep you singing and dancing until the wee hours.
Rear Level 1, 232 William St, Northbridge
Henry On Eighth
Henry On Eighth kinda gets a little forgotten when people discuss Perth’s small bar scene, but we get the feeling that’s just the way they like it. The place is always humming, the interior decor is a wonderfully hot mess of exposed brick, local artwork and a weird little raised live music corner that’s always got a local artist strumming their wares. Their booze and cocktail selection is on-point, food is fantastic and the staff are friendly as heck. If you’re not careful you’ll lose hours without even realising it at this Maylands mainstay.
49 Eighth Ave, Maylands
Okay so we promise a little bit of taxidermy isn’t all it takes to impress us, but between Rodney’s and this underground CBD speakeasy we wouldn’t blame you for thinking as much! Foxtrot Unicorn is very much the sum of its parts though, and the warm, welcoming jarrah-lined walls, recycled furniture and charismatic barkeeps make this one former old bank vault you have to visit.
Basement Level, 101 St. George’s Tce, Perth
There’s nothing specific to Ronnie Nights on Freo’s main drag that necessary qualifies its place on this list other than, “it’s the vibe of the thing”. Delicious cocktails and great little snacks can be found within Ronnie’s cozy, colourful walls, with DJs and live music bringing a bit of groove on most nights of the week. Plus it’s got some of the best people watching in town out front.
75/77 Market St, Fremantle
Outside of taxidermy, next in line in terms of things we can’t resist about fun bars is them being underground, and Alfred’s Pizzeria is certainly that. It’s also a damn fine pizza joint, but works equally as fun as a place to pull up for a drinks. Indeed their pizza selection is fantastic (and tasty as heck), but their booze selection is where the place equally shines, and the whole fit-out of the place just makes you want to stay and hang.
37 Barrack St, Perth
For people who love to drink, we sure do love it when venues try and make it a little bit harder for us to do so. Sneaky Tony’s is down an alleyway off a backstreet somewhere Northbridge’s Chinatown precinct, but once you find it you’ll enjoy a selection of over 300 rums and feel very naughty doing so in this prohibition era-themed bar.
Header Image: Hula Bula Bar