Bars and Nightclubs
Fremantle, Perth

The Clink

14-16 South Terrace, Fremantle, WA
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Nestled in Fremantle’s busy and well visited ‘Cafe Strip’, ‘The Clink’ sits in between restaurants quietly minding its own business in the day time and not quite doing that come sundown every Thursday through to Sunday. Any Fremantle local will tell you that it is the place to be if your looking for an off-the-cuff night; with its modest entry fee, student priced drinks, and a chic cocktail bar for those not relying too heavily on the dole. That being said, if you did not get a number, give a number or haven’t had all that much of a good time in the wee hours of a weekend in Fremantle and you are still feeling up for it – or even if you ticked all those boxes and wish to test your luck a second time – then put out your wrists and kindly ask the men at the door to take you down to the gallows, because ‘The Clink’ is most definitely for you.

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The Clink Review

Review By Kevin Wangai

‘Tis a fact that few night time venues in Fremantle highlight the city’s Victorian architectural roots as much as The Clink does. What perhaps isn’t equally public knowledge is that contrary to mass public belief, this popular venue – often heralded as a former police holding cell – is actually recognised by the Register of Heralded Places as the basement to an adjoining building. What was once a shy and simple minded shop had its rear was converted to the The Clinks’ entrance, and was renamed just so in the late 90’s. There very well may be a metaphor or two to be taken away from this story – but let’s leave that one for you to decide. It is believed that the basement’s light wells gave the chambers a cell like quality, and the owners – much to their credit – ran with the idea… and how far and well indeed they ran.

But let us too run with the jail cell tale because after all, ’tis a good night club owner that sells you an atmosphere and an illusion, that allows your escapist minds to ran amok, creating a world where one can fulfill one’s fantasies, and asks only that the blood, vomit, and general illegality be kept to a minimum.

Much like the perpetrators who found themselves climbing down the archaic limestone steps into her depths, revelers have little idea of what to expect as the music meets you at the top of the stairs. That is to say, fresh revelers; those who have never walked beneath those blue and purple fluorescent lit arches guarded by arguably Fremantle’s least BS-taking bouncers. Locals will tell you that The Clink is not at all easy to explain in terms of what a routine night may have in store for you.

At the bottom, one finds that she has stayed true to her name, and there is little to persuade against this as the thickly barred windows and cavernous feel firmly remind revelers of Fremantle’s penal colony days. It can sometimes feel like a bit of a museum and it would come as a surprise that a newbie or two has not genuinely inquired about a guided tour. The theme is heavily reflected throughout the venue; with its seemingly unchanged limestone walls, two classic cell chambers with rusty doors and locks to boot and an archaic elevator.

A brightly lit stage is offered which can either be said to be claustrophobic or promoting proximity, but in any case the space a step down from the raised platform makes do just fine. There is not all that much sitting space which is probably the nightclub’s tactful way of saying ‘You can sit at home. You came here to dance”. The two cells each offer a bunk bed seating space and a handful of bar stools. The bars themselves are littered with stools of their own for those yet to convince someone to join them in the cells.

There is usually an entry fee ranging from $5 to $15 depending on the evening and if there is a featuring DJ. Drinks are generally student priced and a cocktail bar – further into the club’s bowels – offers fancier drinks and a less jail-type feel with its polished wood, glittering lights and shiny surfaces.

Confusing as it may be, it has often been overheard that venue caters to Fremantle’s mature and sophisticated revelers, yet long-toe-shoe wearing, tight-shirt-ripping, just-started-shaving-and-really-stoked-about-it young revelers are not at all out of place here on a busy evening. All those who fall in between fit in just as snugly, sharing in the mix of RnB, Disco, Retro, House and Chart Hits pouring from the DJ booth.

Find The Clink open every other Wednesday, but definitely every Thursday through to Sunday.

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