Go back a few years and pundits were heralding a coming-of-age for Perth, with the arrival of sophisticated coastal establishments that would spell the end for the humble beer barn by the beach.
Cut-price jugs of bog-standard beer were replaced by $14 schooners of craft concoctions.
Those swanky joints may have established a beachhead initially, but it’s clear now the class war between the chic and the cheap has been won by the latter.
One only has to look at Matisse Beach Club in Scarborough for proof. It offered expensive fare in luxurious surrounds, and went into voluntary administration in 2017.
After a marked-down makeover by David Heaton’s Capitol Corp, Matisse has been reborn under its old moniker, The Lookout, complete with tenpin bowling and meal deals.
Expect a similar paradigm shift when Heaton gets his hands on The Breakwater.
The State’s economic downturn has claimed numerous high-profile scalps in the hospitality industry, especially those catering to the top end of town, so it should be no surprise that a value proposition has appeal to consumers.
Plus, Perth just isn’t that fancy, and that’s something to be proud of.
The million-dollar question now is whether pubs such as The Vic in Subiaco, which offers a $3.50 pint, can sustain a bargain-basement strategy.
One thing’s for sure — the consumer wins when venues try harder to win your business.