Bars and Nightclubs
Perth CBD, Perth

Republic Hotel

5 Shafto Lane, Perth, WA
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Down Shafto Lane in lies Perth's best-kept secret, a late night playground for the alternative among us. With cheap drinks and tunes to keep you going into the early hours of the morning you can be sure of a good time. Bring your old friends or make some new ones, fun is the philosophy here and we want you to be a part of it.

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Republic Hotel Review

Review By Hamish Hastie

I'd heard strange things about Republic. The most concerning was that, in the hours before clubbers fill the streets of Perth, it services horny, oestrogen-filled hens nights and vicious cougars as a male strip club. Despite this concern I dragged myself along to the Friday night 'indie house party' - Control (just one of the many left-of-centre party's The Republic hosts).

As I made my way down the seedy Shafto Lane I kept coming across malnourished hipsters vomiting what little food they had eaten in the past week. This was a promising sign. My hope was slightly diminished after the security scanned me for metal objects, but - eager to find out whether the folklore about this place was true - I soldiered up the steep and dirty staircase, paid the $10 cover charge and entered what can only be described as a room with no continuity but plenty of style (and poles.)

I entered further into the sea of moustaches and drunkards until all of a sudden I was halted, both physically and mentally. My shoe had come off after sticking to the floor and my mind became a flurry of questions. "Why has my shoe stuck to the floor in a part-time male strip club?" was the most urgent to be answered. I looked around and realised it was more than likely the $5 cans of Emu Export being hurled around in celebration of their cheapness.

After the confronting first few steps of this place I ventured to the bar and ordered myself a drink, cheap spirits for $7 is the way to my heart and so my mood was lifting dramatically. I started to take in the decor. It reminded me of a shed, with a tin roof to boot. There were random pictures and strange displays scattered throughout the place and the patrons took it upon themselves to create more displays by dancing on the poles. They were promptly kicked out.

Even now I struggle to find the link between the people who visited Control and the music. I heard the classic 'Gangsters Paradise' ringing out the speakers more than once and the Backstreet Boys even reared their ugly heads. The people were either 'to trendy to be trendy' hipsters, standard drunk girls or men in shorts and backwards caps. I was shocked that 90's music had such an effect on these varying demographics, but apparently it did and it made for a great atmosphere of dancing, sticky shoes and drinking to excess.

Summarising my night is a difficult task. I was disgusted whilst also thoroughly enjoying every bit of it. It has made me seriously consider growing a moustache. Need more convincing to visit? If you make the trip to Control you may be lucky enough to get a slice of the free pizza being distributed by a cowboy in an Emu Export tank top.

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A Second Review of the Republic Hotel

Review by Jeremy Truong

At the time, you take it for granted. But as you get older, and grow a better appreciation for your teenage years, you begin to realise how great house parties really were back in the day.

Thinking back to the thrill of drinking, drinking booze, hooking up with a random, ordering bulk pizza, and waking up with a hangover – all as a teenager and all part of growing up.

On Friday nights The Republic, located down Shafto Lane, plays host to Control, which is a hotspot for the indie folk and hipsters of Perth.

After paying the $10 entry fee, walking in, and looking around, so many aspects of this place scream out “HIGH SCHOOL PARTY!”

The décor of The Republic is… different; the ceiling is simply a tin roof, paintings are hung around the room, (dancing) poles situated around the room, and (not sure how to describe them, but) random paper cut-outs were hung from the roof’s support beam, which included the odd planet, circles, and diamonds.

The crowd in attendance was young – with the patrons looking like 18- to 21-year-old students. The attire was generally trendy, and there were some interesting haircuts, glasses, and facial hair.

Prices of drinks were not out of the ordinary, but if money is a bit of a stretch for you then perhaps you could help yourself to something on the cheaper side: an Emu Export or Vodka Cruiser. Other drinks generally are in the $7 to $18 range, and are what you would expect to pay elsewhere. And do not worry if you get peckish throughout the night – free pizza makes its way into the room, and is passed around for everyone to enjoy.

The music is different too; the DJs play a little bit of everything. From “Gangster’s Paradise”, to “Look At Me Now”, to “Bangarang”, to “Teenage Dream”. So while it does satisfy the wide range of music taste, the DJs perhaps have their fingers in too many pies and jumps around too erratically.

One grumble about the venue is the fact it can get quite hot and stuffy in the room; there are a few fans and a large air-con in the corner, but the stench and humidity of the room can be a little much at times. Some windows would be nice rather than having to go outside.

The event does become more lively later in the night, but there are plenty of other bars or clubs around if you find yourself strolling down memory lane (standing there eating pizza and drinking Emu Export) too much.

It is not everybody’s cup of tea, but is worth checking out if you are out of ideas on a Friday night. If you are patient enough, a few of your songs may just come on frequent enough to enjoy your outing.

Control can be enjoyed by everyone with the variety of music, young vibe, and is a different place to check out if you want to revisit your youth.

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