Bars and Nightclubs
Northbridge, Perth

Brass Monkey

209 William Street, Northbridge, WA
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An intimate atmosphere with some of the big names in Australian and International music, including jazz, blues, roots, funk, pop and world music.

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The Brass Monkey Review

Review By Cassandra Auzins

I have to admit, the Brass Monkey is an old haunt. In fact, it's an old workplace for myself so there is a soft spot in my heart for it. Having said that, walking in this time was like meeting a new friend wearing an old friend's clothes.

Located at the edge of Northbridge's pub and club strip, the building hosts not only the main bar and adjoining courtyard but also a sports bar, a restaurant (The Brass Grill), a wine bar (The GrapeSkin), the newly created Lounge Bar and a private function area (The Glass House) that also hosts The Last Resort Comedy Club on Wednesdays.

Access is easy with three ways of entry meaning lines are minimal. Once inside, you're invited into what was formerly known as the Great Western Hotel, with much of its wooden and brass rimmed decor still intact. The addition of the GrapeSkin, Glass House and even the courtyard haven't hurt the rustic Australian feel, but have actually helped it into the new millennium by taking away that aged sense that some historic building get.

Friday nights have seen the new addition of a DJ to the courtyard area; a creative way to deter the hobos and bogans that once haunted the pub and garnered it with strict curfews and a constant police presence barely a year earlier. DJ Viktor, a fellow former Monkey, set the dance floor a light and saw an influx of people in their earlier twenties to thirties frequenting a place that was once known only to barflies and backpackers.

The Brass Monkey is known for its collection of tap beers including Coopers, Stella, Tooheys and almost every Matilda Bay brew available. The most expensive pint (a whopping 640ml of amber beauty) sits just above $9 with Coronas costing under $9 and 30ml of Smirnoff under $8. The food ranges from tapas type meals at the GrapeSkin, pub grub in the main bar to well-crafted mains in the Brass Grill; so every type of meal you're looking for it available for your pallet.

To be more specific about each area:

The main bar: During the day is caters to tourists and barflies but at night the Top 40 music playing on the system entices nearby backpackers and students. The bar is overflowing with your choice of beers, but no longer does shots, due to new liquor licensing laws.

The GrapeSkin: A wine and tapas bar and the only place to score cocktails. It also hosts a wine cellar that contains an amazing collection of local and international beers and wines. Due to the large number of tourists in the area, this list includes Fosters.

The Sports Bar: Only really open on Saturday nights and during big sporting events, it sits between the main bar and the GrapeSkin and is a good place to sit and talk away from the engulfing music of both areas.

The Lounge Bar: When we were there, it was completely dead, so perhaps some advertising of its hidden existence upstairs might encourage people to try it out more.

The Brass Monkey is a great place to go if you're looking to spend the night in one place. If you get bored of an area, there is an array of alternatives to refresh your batteries with every section giving off a relaxed and playful atmosphere. Given that even former Monkeys are coming back to visit and work there, you can tell that the staff are a tight-knit group who work hard and play harder. An excellent place for someone new to Northbridge, this place is definitely at least worth a look into.

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