After laying dormant for some time, Mount Lawley locals will be very excited to hear the iconic Beaufort street small bar, Clarences, is primed to reopen Wednesday 20 January as Clarences Company Store.
Originally opened way back in 2009, the bar was a mainstay of the strip for years before sadly closing its doors in 2019. Its bustling dining room, cosy booths and vibing courtyard, not to mention killer food and drinks, attracted plenty of regulars week after week.
One of those regulars just happened to be new owner Eli Barlow, who spent plenty of time at Clarences as Chief Operations Manager for the neighbouring Zambrero. He jumped at the opportunity to bring the much-loved haunt back to life, and has roped in hospo legends Chef Daire Fox (Varnish on King) and Phil Weber (El Grotto, Si Paradiso) to ensure the relaunch is every bit as good as the original.
The new bar and talented team brings with it a fresh spin, adopting moody elements of New Orleans’ French Quarter in the food, drink and fitout—think jazz, dark corners, and a good splash of whiskey.
In the kitchen Chef Daire Fox has promised us refined American-style cooking and bold Creolean flavours, all championing top tier WA produce. It’s the kind of elevated share food you’ll be coming back for more of with dishes like pan-fried peppers with goats curd and tobacco onions; house made ricotta with wild figs; duck liver parfait with davidson plum and company loaf; and a whole deboned fried heritage chicken with pecorino and beer mustard.
Bar side, Phil Weber has also taken inspiration from New Orleans. You’ll find plenty of whiskey-led cocktails alongside a quality selection of local and international wines, craft beers, and spirits. We’ve got our eye on the Banana Drama cocktail, made with whiskey, campari, Brazilian banana and leather. (Yep, it’s a thing.)
Much of the bar’s original layout has been retained but the interiors have been given a good refresh. Expect restored floorboards, green banquette seating and salvaged brass instrument light fittings proudly shining above the dining room. Also not to be missed is the stunning new wallpaper by award-winning set decorator Kerrie Browns and a beautiful piano in the corner, ready for the late-night jazz sessions to come. But for now, the courtyard will be the place to be, with its new canopy of fairy lights providing the perfect backdrop for a tipple or two on hot balmy nights.
You can swing by the new Clarences Company Store this week, with the venue open from 4pm Wednesday to Sunday.
Until then, find more awesome things to do this week in Perth.
Image credit: Thom Davidson