Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A man walks in to a bar...


And writes about it as his new role as bar reviewer for The Sunday Times in Perth.

Sometimes, at any rate.

I'm not going to lie, following the footsteps of Andrew Bennett - now bar manager at North Perth's The Classroom - would be a daunting prospect for any scribe. If you're looking for a high water mark for West Australian booze journalism, Andrew's set it, and over the years his eloquent prose has both educated and entertained.

In terms of a first review, it seemed only fair to set guidelines for what I reckon makes a good watering hole. Truth be told, my criteria boils down to a single yardstick: service. Having a back bar packed to the rafters with pricey booze is all good and well, but it's those places that make guests feel truly welcome - places that understand hospitality isn't just an industry but an attitude - that stand the best chance of going from casual acquaintance to regular haunt. Helvetica - as depicted by this Polaroid of its wall mural from the ridiculously ill Perth artist Yok - understands this all too well. This Howard Lane speakeasy really is a no-brainer when I find myself thirsty (or lonely) in the city.

Bar Fly reviews are published every Sunday in the STE magazine in the Sunday Times as well as mirrored online on Mondays.

Bar Fly: Helvetica