We’ve all heard the classic complaints with the Perth CBD: the difficulty of finding a decent cup of coffee, the scarcity of small bars, the cultural deficiencies. It’s little wonder the place clears out after 5pm.
Luckily, a new addition to the CBD is challenging each of those notions, and giving hope to Perthites everywhere: Venn.
Housed in one of Perth’s most beautiful historical buildings, Venn is a creative hotspot. Walking through its doors into the airy ground floor, you’ll first notice the design shop, which stocks contemporary design objects from Australia and overseas. A browse through the shop will make you wonder how you ever lived without at least a dozen of the things you come across. A plastic telephone receiver that connects into your iPhone? Need that. Coasters made from re-used metal street signs? Yep, those too.
Nestled behind the shop is the café, serving breakfast, lunch and made-to-share bar snacks. The 5 Senses coffee is divine, the after-work drinks even better.
Once sufficiently satiated, climb the wooden staircase (a remnant of the original 1906 building) to visit Venn’s art gallery, displaying the work of artists whose studios lie in the building’s basement.
The gallery’s last exhibition, the Summer Show, displayed the work of eight artists who exhibited at the space last year, and was a big success. The current exhibit A Magnificent World is an exploration of sorcery and the grotesque by four Western Australian artists: Pia Bennett, Thea Costantino, Joshua Fitzpatrick and Anna Nazzari.
So if you’re keen to pick up a one-of-a-kind gift, fancy rubbing elbows with a resident artist while ordering your morning short black, or if you’re just looking for a quiet drink, pay Venn a visit. Even if just to thank them for their effort in shutting up those pesky Perth-haters.