The photo below, on a wall on High St Fremantle, represents the old Perth drinking culture: lots of beer and a bit of macho violence. In contrast, the new small bar culture that is evolving in Perth is exciting and impressive to see. From a Melbourne point of view, other cities like Sydney and Brisbane are struggling to free their antiquated liquor licensing and planning laws, but Perth is doing better than either of them.
The Perth people I spoke to about the small bar scene all said that the City of Perth has been the most responsive, whereas the nearby City of VIncent (which includes busy social locations like Leederville) has been the most reluctant to enable change. This view is supported by a recent post by Palace Foods.
There’s a list of the Perth bars here (including photos by my friends VJZoo). The bars even have their own industry association, which is most impressive. Now, when Melbourne friends ask for recommendations on where to drink when holidaying in Perth, I will be able to recommend a few bars, like Andaluz and 399, with genuine enthusiasm.