Frisk is a Small Bar that has been operating for over 12 months situated on the old site of DC’s nightclub for those that remember & those that do not – 103 Francis St, Northbridge. The Foodie Hub sat down with Bar Manager Will Holland and discussed Frisk’s history, the crowd it attracts, its best cocktails, the popularity of Gin, it’s competitive advantage & the future of the Perth Small Bar scene.
Will, thanks for your time today. So, tell us a little of the history of Frisk. How long has Frisk been operating for & how long has it held its liquor license for?
Frisk has been open since October 2010 & has been operating as a Small bar since October 2011. I have been on board for six months now after holding positions & managing 44 King St in Perth, Il Lido in Cottesloe & The Suite in Shenton Park. I’ve been in Perth for 7 years and I hail from New York.
What sort of crowd is attracted to Frisk?
The demographic is essentially upwards from 25 years old. We avoid the agro – we like to feel we provide an ambiance to attract a sophisticated and relaxed crowd. Passionate about a good drink, chat and good time. To give you a further idea, let’s look at some artists we play. Examples of our ‘soundtrack’ we proudly broadcast we range from Dave Matthews to Temper Trap & Tricky. A diverse, cool yet sophisticated clientele. We are not a place for the multi-pint drinker. We have steadily built up a regular client base that we are very happy with. We specialise in Cocktails and have a candle lit interior by night.
Please tell us what the Top 3 cocktails are at the moment at Frisk?
- Classic Martini – we have an extremely high standard for this with a lemon twist to it.
- Espresso Martini- we use “Five Senses” coffee beans and they roast their own blend specifically for us. This goes down well in our take on the Espresso Martini.
- Spicy Miss Hendrick’s– we make our own Thai Syrup in house (chilli, cinnamon, ginger, lime, orange & sugar) which sets the base for Hendrick’s topped up with Soda. It’s a twist on the Tom Collins.
Pictured above (Left to Right): Spicy Miss Hendrick’s, Espresso Martini & Classic Martini.
Talk a bit about Gin’s popularity & where it fits in at Frisk?
Funny you ask – did you know we actually have the second highest range of Gins in stock of any bar in the WORLD! We currently stock 172 different varieties of Gin. Gins need to be on the menu for at least six months before the officially qualify for the World Record via The Guinness Book of Records- we are one place away from this! I’ve been trained on the Martini back in The States and within Australia. It is important to us as a spirit and how it stands out. We not only offer this incredible range of Gin we also know a depth of history about it, and many other spirits. Take Gin though, did you know how Hendrick’s came about? Grants distillery in Scotland branched out into Gin and as they were a proud British name they did not want to be associated with Gin. But they made it & wanted a different name. Mrs Hendricks was the name of a lady that brought roses to the distillery daily to distill in the water – subsequently they called their take on Gin, “Hendrick’s”. There are a multitude of stories behind drinks though, and we love sharing! Like the origins of The Martini, my view is it was from an arrogant Italian created by accident. So many drinks in our industry are created by accident or created by destiny, however you want to label it. They are conceived, experimented with, perfected and then brought to market.
Given the prolific forward impact of current State & Local Government projects such as the sinking of the railway, King George’s Square & Elizabeth Quay, where do you see Northbridge in say, five years and where do you see Frisk positioned in the transition?
In five years time I can see Northrbidge being a place where people of all ages would not worry about being at times the roughness of the area. We recently received a Xmas card from the local police contingent & there is a Police HQ being built near us. I think with this and the rise of quality small bars in Northbridge and Perth the drinking culture of Perth will shift to a more eloquent and sophisticated one. Legislation appears to loosen up on Small Bars now as the powers that be look at venues such as ours, and Ben Fierce and crew at Mechanics, the great crew at Ezra Pound, Bill Bewsher at Bar 399 doing the right thing and doing it well.
Perth has a plethora of talent behind the bar across multiple venues now. These are professionals ranging from 22-35 years old in their prime who would easily match the best in Melbourne or Sydney. When I moved to Perth seven years ago there was a real monopoly in the bar scene, the knowledge was there but there was no sharing of it. I think now it has evolved greatly to the point that the bar staff in Perth have lost their patience and want to progress themselves, and the City. Change is coming to Perth. The “gap” between Melbourne & Sydney is closing in terms of quality behind the bar. We happily admit to referring business to other venues & working in conjunction with them rather than against them to assist in growing this City of ours to the level it needs to and will be at to match Sydney, Brisbane, & Melbourne. A lot of long & hard work has gone into setting up Frisk and it is perfectly positioned for this evolution. We are really excited about the inevitable progress Perth is making and are very pleased to be positioned to maximise our potential when the construction is completed.
Any news in the pipeline that you care to share with The Foodie Hub faithful?
Yeah sure. You may have heard of “Rematch Beeyatch“. It’s a bartenders comp that engages the best bartenders in the world in a competition of skill, speed, quality and boasting rights! Basically it tests who can tick all these boxes & make the most cocktails. Five Bar’s Andrew McIntyre brought it to Perth, and people like Simon Hoff of Luxe Bar have helped push it. However Simon has since hung his hat up from competing to give the others a chance to win! It is hosted once a month and up until recently had been staged at 399 Bar in Northbridge. However Frisk has the hosting rights now so check in with the contact updates below and stay tuned!
Opening Hours & Contact: Frisk is open 07:00am – Midnight Tuesday to Friday, 12:00pm-Midnight Saturdays & 12:00pm-10:00pm Sundays. Closed Mondays. Stay updated with Frisk via their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter or feast your eyes on their Instagram Feed.