With a sherry-focused bar and an on-site butchery and bakery, this venture from the man behind Varnish and Darlings is a no-brainer
The Flour Factory is the latest opening from Andy Freeman, who has proved with the likes of Varnish and Darlings that a foundation built on liquid can be solid. In the aftermath of Perth’s small-bar-boom, however, you need to be more than just a bar to survive, and your USP has to be left-of-centre to stand out. You need a concept.
The Flour Factory has that in spades. Billed as a New York style deli meets Spanish Bodega-style cocktail bar, it takes over the space previously occupied by Venn gallery. The building retains its street-facing retail space for now, with pop ups in residence – but watch this space: apparently plans are afoot to give the hospitality side a bigger footprint.
The bar-come-café on the ground floor looks much the same as before, but the menu tells a different story. The on-site bakery and butchery flexes its muscles, backed up by a more than able cheese selection. You could quite easily stop right there – but then there’s the hotdogs and the daily specials. On our visit a few issues with availability and menu changes didn’t taint the experience, thanks to staff that know when they need to amp up the charm. While the specials are proper plates of food that demonstrate thought, it could be the dogs that steal the show.
The star attraction, however, is The Sherry, their first floor open-air bar (Friday and Saturday 4pm-midnight), pushing fortified wines. For those who see sherry as something Nanna takes a nip of, prepare to get educated; the 15-strong line-up is impressive, and $20 tasting flights are your way in.
The arms race that is Perth’s bar scene probably hasn’t reached its peak yet; we are yet to see Lucky Chans (supposedly Australia first crowdfunded bar), and no doubt the prolific Freeman and his peers have a few more up their collective sleeve. Who knows, we may come full circle and get a bar free of concept. What a neat concept that would be.
|Venue name:||The Flour Factory|
16 Queen St
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri 7am-midnight; Sat 4pm-midnight|