Well how could I not be intrigued when I received an email from Frisky McFrisk asking me along for a visit to their fine establishment to hear a little more about the wonder that is Frisk. Small Bar.
Located on Francis St in Northbridge, it occurred to me as I walked towards it earlier in the week that I had actually visited Frisk previously, in its former life when it was a café and Kustom Cupcakes had their store front there. Great cupcakes they were! And I could recall seeing competitions that Frisk had run on Facebook for a month’s worth of coffee. Any office worker’s dream really – a month’s supplies of quality lattes.
But I digress. These days Frisk is a small bar and has had a revamp of sorts. Still has a welcoming and eclectic feel to it, with the mish mash of different chairs and tables and bright murals adorning the walls, but an impressive addition is the collection of spirit bottles along the back wall of the bar. They are packing some serious cocktail making power!
I was meeting manager, Will Holland, for a chat about his time at Frisk. Hailing from New York I asked how he had ended up in our fair city. Was actually due to lacrosse I found out and Will has long been involved in the hospitality space with an impressive resume of experiences in Perth alone. But now his friendly face can be found behind the bar whipping up some very impressive beverages.
While we chatted Will made me one of his signature cocktails. A new one in his impressive repertoire called ‘On Stranger Tides’. No surprise that this was a gin based cocktail when I discovered that Frisk stocked the largest collection of gin in the world. Over 180 varieties are available. So I had to ask, what was his favourite gin. SipSmith I was told. A relatively new producer out of London that he favoured because of its versatility. Perfect for a martini or a G&T or in something a little more flashy.
There’s a theatre involved with watching a cocktail being created. The preparation of quite an elaborate garnish, the balanced measures of different ingredients, which in this case included mint, lemon juice, Grand Marnier, a dramatic splash of blue curacao and a special Tahitian spice syrup.
I watched with glee as my drink was created, appreciating the careful concentration that went into ensuring that the beverage was perfectly balanced in flavour.
It really was
A perfect summer drink – served over ice and with the right balance of citrusy sweetness to counter the dryness of the gin. The mild mint flavour and the hidden mystery spiciness from the Tahitian syrup; it all worked!
I savoured every sip as I spoke more to Will. He noted the changes he’d seen to the Perth restaurant/bar scene in his 7 years here. It was interesting to discuss the progress he’d especially seen in Northbridge and the support that other small bars/venues within the area were offering to each other. Quite the tight knit community. Safety wise too, he added that there had been vast improvements in the past few years.
I asked whether Frisk was aimed at any particular patrons given that some venues were targeting the 25+ market these days. He said no, there was no real push towards a specific market and that all were welcome at Frisk. They do offer also offer a small bar snacks menu. I was most intrigued with the item called Fat Bread. Apparently it is much like the name describes and is a wonderfully chunky serve of herb bread. I’ll definitely be giving that a whirl on my next visit. Pricing wise on the drinks front, Frisk pride themselves on quality and their first pour spirits are a carefully selected range at a very reasonable $8 a pour.
One parting comment has to be made on the quality of the music at Frisk. It’s a carefully selected mix and really reminded me of a few old favourites I hadn’t heard in a while – Dave Matthews Band, Counting Crows. Plus they played the intro song from Scrubs. I love that show. I thought it was all the more apt when right before I left they played the Cheers theme song. Indeed it does seem to be the case that there a lot of happy regulars visiting Frisk and Will greeted them all like friends. “where everybody knows your name” Frisk is a little bit Cheers indeed.
Thanks for the lovely drink and the chat Will and the invite from Frisky McFrisk to become the latest fan of this very welcoming small bar.