Venture deep under the Heritage Brasserie, Bar & Boardroom, past a scarlet velvet curtain and you’ll enter Perth’s newest watering hole, Bobèche. Modelled after a 1920′s prohibition speakeasy, this is a bar to visit when you’re in the mood for deep leather armchairs, flickering candles and – thanks to the dim lighting, perhaps – handsome bartenders in waistcoats. A refuge, in other words, from the hustle and bustle of St Georges Terrace above.
Bobèche pays homage to a legendary clown from the 1800’s whose trademark was a horned hat covered in butterflies. Various murals of the performer are scattered about, and butterflies adorn the entrance and menus. As tenuous as the connection between a 19th century French clown and a 20th century American bar in a 21st century Australia may be, it all somehow works.
Thankfully, the drinks are a far cry from the moonshine served at speakeasies in the 20’s. There’s a large selection of Old World drinks on offer. If beer is what you’re after, there’s German Hefe Weissbier and English brown ale, French cider and Czech pilsner. Apertifs include Lee Fee Absinthe, Chartreuse and Aperol. Then there are classic cocktails like the St Germain Frappe, White Cargo and Milk Punch.
We like the look of the “teapots”, which are essentially 4-serve jugs of cocktails. The Almagoozlum, for example, contains Bols Genever gin, Appleton 12YO Jamaican rum, Yellow Chartreuse, Cointreau, bitters and egg white. The four of you will fight over this one.
The “bites” menu includes fingerfoods like Rueben sandwiches, gruyere soufflés, cheese and charcuterie plates or fresh oysters.
This bar may not have the illicit charm of a prohibition speakeasy – but it more than makes up for it in originality.
(Also published in AgendaCity)