A View from the City: Perth

Who are the most famous/influential bartenders and what are they famous for? 

Shit, what if I miss someone? Well, my buddy Ben Tua, I have no idea what for but he seems to know a lot of people. My old boss Paul Aron (Der Raum and Che), Stuart Binks is plying his trade over in London, Jared Plummer who is the national American whiskey ambassador, Marco Noe (Bramble), Andy Freeman (Luxe, Varnish), Gary Beadle (Luxe, 399 Bar) and Adam Keane (The Classroom). We always give him shit about being old but he knows his stuff and won some Monin world championship or something once.

Where does Perth’s bar scene take its influence? Where have its best bartenders trained? 

London, New York, Melbourne – anywhere really. Melbourne kinda kicked off the whole small bar scene in Australia so I guess they get the nod. Australians are pretty transient beings so they love to travel and we get a lot of working holiday types, so it’s a real melting pot of nationalities and experience. The guy who trained me (Zach Nelson) is Californian; Paul Aron worked at Che London and arguably one of Australia’s best ever bars – Der Raum (Melbourne); Ben Tua’s a Kiwi who’s also worked in Melbourne; Jamie Passmore worked at Luxe and Hawksmoor London… and the list goes on. 

How has the economic boom in Western Australia affected business in Perth? Have local tastes changed?

Totally. Rents go up, wages go up, who wants to polish glasses for X bucks an hour when you can earn crazy money driving a big truck on a mine site? So getting staff has been a problem at times. People’s tastes are changing all the time and are getting more and more adventurous, but we still get our fair share of Espresso Martinis and Long Island Iced Teas.

What are your hopes and aspirations for Perth’s bar scene? 

The licensing is still incredibly strict with pretty much
all small bars having to close at midnight, so there aren’t many options for people who want to drink in an intimate, well-run space after then – it’s either nightclubs or the casino. That hopefully will change at some point. On the whole though its onwards and upwards. It’s come such a long
way in the past five years so here’s hoping the next five will be epic too!