Suits. Corporate types. You know the kind of person I’m talking about, right? The kind of person that, when you meet them, immediately asks what you do and then mentally calculates how much you earn and whether or not you’re worth talking to for much longer. The finance/oil and gas/lawyer types. “So, what do you do?”, they ask. “What do I do?”, I feel like saying when asked this question within 30 seconds of meeting said Woodside employee/junior lawyer/futures trader, “Well I play the ukulele, collect second hand vinyl records and occasionally cry at overly sappy, sentimental parts in awful movies, but only when I’m home alone goddammit!” I never do say this mind you, I’m far too middle-class and polite, but perhaps one day…
Anyhow, I digress. If you had to pick an epicentre for the concentration of this kind of person in Perth it would definitely be Brookfield place. It truly is ground zero for the besuited corporate set. Beneath the mighty dual phallic symbols of the BHP tower lie all manner of ostentatious establishments tailor made for them to show off their large amounts of disposable income (and thus their inherent worthiness as human beings). Oh no my friends, down there discretion is certainly not the greater part of valour and less is definitely not more. Yet amongst all of this grandiose flamboyance lies Choo Choo’s, a hip, grungey little small bar whose focus lies more on “slinging drinks and good times” than it does on trying to impress anyone. However, you don’t have to just take my word for it as they literally have their own set of commandments that set the tone for the whole establishment.
Choo Choo’s commandments:
1. Thank you isn’t a dirty word! We appreciate you, so please appreciate us.
2. No ties – work’s over… loosen it or lose it… Take a breath and relax!
3. If you wouldn’t leave them with your Ma, don’t bring them here.
4. No white Limousines.
5. No name dropping, we probably don’t know who they are anyway…
6. No pre-wasted’s.
7. Exit briskly and quietly. Respect for our neighbours is respect for us.
For starters you’ll see none of the polished wood or elaborately upholstered furniture that dominate most of the other more swanky bars in the area. At Choo Choo’s it’s all exposed brick, concrete, vintage kitsch furniture and street art style murals on the walls. As you can probably tell by their Moses-on-weed style commandments, owners David MacNish, Tye Harper and Mike De Vos are all about creating a space where people can forget about the stresses of the working world and unwind for a while and their fit out definitely reflects this.
It would be a mistake, however, to think that this laid-back air of hipster chic translated into sloppy bar service. Far from it in fact. To help you further distance any thoughts of the daily grind they have an excellent selection of quality, interesting beers on offer and bartenders that certainly know their way around a cocktail. Choose something from their impressive list or just ask the lads behind the bar to guide you through the sometimes murky world of correct cocktail selection, either way you’ll end up with something damned tasty in your hand. Best of all it’ll be served up to you without the intense pomp and circumstance that is often associated with flashy cocktail joints these days. Don’t get me wrong, given the right time and place I like all of that glitziness as much as the next martini swilling man, but every now and again it’s nice to do things a little more low key and just focus on quietly enjoying a drink and chat with a friend or two, and Choo Choo’s is definitely a place for doing just that.
So it turns out that right in the belly of the beast, right down there in thronging mass of Gordon Gekko wannabies and Bonfire Of The Vanities types lies a little bar that couldn’t be any less corporate if it were illegally downloading music while pissing on a McDonalds and giving the finger to Bill Gates. If you find yourself in that neck of the woods and in need of a drink but are sans Armani don’t worry, you now have a place to go. You can grab yourself a beverage, make yourself comfortable and forget all about the look in Steve from Rio Tinto’s eyes when he found out that you were a lowly, hospitality industry-working peasant.
For more pics of my visit to Choo Choo’s follow the link to the FB page (and remember to like it while you’re there): https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.594631827259722.1073741844.345163112206596&type=1&l=f7e2584179