July 19, 2011

Perth : Small Bars Approved in 2011 = GTFO

"There hasn't been a single small bar license approved for the Perth CBD or Northbridge area in 2011."

When the Western Australian liquor laws were modified in 2007, to enable budding entrepreneurs an easier path to opening a "small bar", I didn't expect the reality of the 2011 outcome. What was promised was the potential for a landscape of smaller premises, with lower capacities, sharing the growing number of patrons that were beginning to choke the often problematic large capacity beer-barns that Perth has known for decades. There was even an advertising campaign. I'm pretty sure it mentioned Melbourne. The gist was that lane-ways would be "activated", and a number of "funky" small bars would be allowed to open, finally giving Perth residents a genuine choice of where to meet for a "sophisticated" experience with quality wines, spirits, beers, and food options. Did you fall for it? Call me an optimist, a glass half full kind of guy, but I fell for the promises hook, line, and sinker.