It was our first city in Western Australia and after the long drive across the Nullarbor, we were thirsty. When we saw how many pubs were in town, the first night was appropriately put aside for a pub crawl.
This bar was one of the venues at the intersection of the main streets, so this was where we decided to meet Tom and Bella for the first round. We got there early and spoke to the bouncers about where to get the best feed in town and they were kind enough to teach us two things – Paddy’s across the road was having their $15 Schnitzel Night and that the Palace Hotel was a Skimpy Bar.
We forgot to tell the latter piece of learning to Tom and Bella, so when we walked through the deserted front bar to get to the busy back bar, Bella was googly eyed! “Is tonight a special occasion?” she asked on that balmy Tuesday night. The scantily clad bar bitch with her white lacy suspenders and DD breasts didn’t understand so Juz quietly filled her in, “this is a skimpy bar!”
We ordered three beers and a white wine for Bella and went out the back to the beer garden, which felt like an exercise yard – brick wall all the way around. While there was a dance floor and pool table inside, the atmosphere was negligible so we drank and left soon after.
We didn’t even enter the place – it smelt like a toilet and looked like a stale TAB gambling bar so we turned around and went to the next pub.
The Exchange Hotel
Another bar with skimpies! Bella and Juz tried to get the attention of the girls, any girl, but they all only had eyes for the men. We were eventually served by a fully clothed foreign girl who had no idea how to work behind a bar.
The positives – the music was alright, the saloon style décor added atmosphere, and they had Little Creatures Pale Ale on tap. Four pints thanks!
Paddy’s Ale House
It was dinner time so we sauntered next door for some $15 schnitzel action.
Dave ordered a beef parmigiana while Juz went with a chicken schnitzel topped with creamy garlic sauce. Both were amazing – thick, juicy schnitzels with well seasoned chips. Dave’s parma miraculously had ham while Juz’s sauce was creamy and morish. The salad was crisp but the steamed vegetables were wrinkly. Juz daned her plate and the waitress who cleared the table admired the cleanliness of the dish.
Drinks were cheap too – Beez Neez stubbies were only $3 while a pint of James Squire was $5.
This pub was beautiful, even during the external refurbishments that concealed the façade of the old building. Inside was spacious and grand with high ceilings and the long walls were filled with AFL memorabilia.
We sat in the foyer on gorgeous leather couches next to a beautiful staircase and upright piano and enjoyed the fabulous setting and conversation. Juz tickled the ivories on the piano with the tune from Titanic. Dave and Tom went upstairs to check out the balcony overlooking the street while Juz and Bella chatted downstairs.
With even more pubs nearby, we could have kept going but needed to consider where we were going to sleep. After the York, we called it a night and headed to Centennial Park for sleep.