‘The City That Never Sleeps’—that’s the title New York boasts, but what about a city that many unfairly label as ‘boring’ and ‘uninteresting’? Well, let me let you in on a little secret: Perth is breaking those misconceptions one hidden bar at a time.
Behind unassuming facades and down narrow laneways, Perth’s hidden bar scene thrives. We’re uncovering some of the city’s best-kept secrets, where the cocktails are creative, the ambiance is captivating, and you’ll discover that Perth has a thrilling underground nightlife scene you never knew existed.
So, step with us into the world of Perth’s hidden bars.
Leading the pack in the realm of hidden bars is Sneaky Tony’s, an elusive rum haven tucked away in the labyrinthine alleyways of Northbridge, the beating heart of Perth’s nightlife. Here’s the kicker: to gain access, you’ll need a password. Fortunately, they spill the beans on their Facebook page every Friday and Saturday. When it comes to locating this covert gem, keep those eyes sharp. It’s a nondescript metal door camouflaged in plain view, so approach every metal door with a hint of scepticism.
Tucked behind what looks like an ordinary laundry façade, this three-story venue is a quirky blend of launderette aesthetics with repurposed washing-machine drums and ironing boards. It also happens to be Australia’s first crowd-funded restaurant with backers’ names on walls and chairs. The menu draws inspiration from various Asian cuisines, offering unconventional but delicious dishes with a dedicated ramen room for fresh noodles. Quirky beer and cocktails, Japanese whiskey, and carefully selected wines round out the experience.
Hidden behind a captivating red phone booth, the Jazz Cellar beckons music enthusiasts on Friday nights. This iconic Perth venue, despite its decades-long history, is experiencing a resurgence fueled by a new generation of patrons. A confirmed reservation at this coveted jazz hub is a golden ticket. With a $25 cover charge for a night of live traditional jazz and a BYO food and drinks policy, it’s an intimate affair. Step through the phone booth, descend into a basement adorned with vintage décor and let the soulful tunes transport you to a bygone era.
Less sneaky but well worth a late night, Alfred’s greets guests with neon signs at this former record store entrance. Their pizzas have unconventional names inspired by pop culture, like Princess Peach and Mos Eisley. The dough is perfectly proofed for a light texture. The beverage menu complements pizza, offering a variety of beers, an Italian-focused wine list, and a well-stocked liquor cabinet with choices like Pappy Van Winkle bourbon and classic cocktails.
Nestled discreetly in Northbridge’s Chinatown, Toots is a sultry, enigmatic disco haven. A secret within a secret, this hidden gem demands a keen eye for discovery. Mutter the magic words “Is Toots in?” to gain your golden ticket. Hand over your ticket and step into a 70s disco paradise where you can dance the night away on Perth’s best-kept secret dancefloor.
Helvetica, a pioneer in Perth’s small-bar scene since 2009, embodies timeless charm, much like the iconic Swiss font it’s named after. Their Old Fashioned cocktails are a specialty, crafted with warmth and precision by the attentive staff. The whiskey selection is world-class, with an option to store your own bottle for future visits. Effortlessly prepared classics like the Manhattan, Negroni, and Aperol spritz are crowd-pleasers.
Bobeche, an underground treasure, channels the charm of Prohibition-era speakeasies blended with Alice in Wonderland whimsy. Concealed from street view, a descent down the staircase reveals an industrial chic interior featuring exposed pipes and concrete walls contrasting rich woods and vibrant furnishings. Shared cocktails served in teapots add a playful touch. The cocktail menu explores lesser-known classics with premium spirits. Fish House Punch, a teapot concoction, stands out.