So, Wednesday, 23 February, 2011 CH overcome her fear, and parked in the city (although the 399 Bar isn’t really in the city) and so she was the first one there. She found a booth for us all just by the door. MS and I came along soon after to join her.
The 399 Bar is not really in Perth. It is on the outskirts of Northbridge where the street parking is free. The bar itself is one in a line of shop fronts in a little shopping precinct. It is narrow and long with the bar and food service area running the deep length of the establishment and with stools along the bar and booths running along the other long wall.
The staff are friendly and not at all stuck up. Having been visiting wine bars for over a year, we know that some staff can come across as a manifestation of the hipness of the joint at which they work. Not so here. Sure, they all wear 399 Bar bowling style shirts, but they are relaxed and friendly and when CH could not decide on what to drink they put together a fruit cocktail based on her request of no mango. MS went with one of the many apple ciders that they offer and I went for a pear cider for some contrast. The bar staff did well in describing the qualities of the many ciders we had to choose from.
DT and Paisley Red soon joined us and the meeting was under way.
We ordered some food, including marinated octopus and grilled mushrooms but not including olives. I guess we did order olives way too often at so many bars last year so we gave them a miss this time. I’m interested in how long we can avoid that particular staple of bar menus in 2011.
So over food and drinks we discussed possible future Barchivist outings, such as 10 pin bowling and seeing The Room at Luna and maybe finally going to Freo for a drink. My suggestion of Barchivist uniforms inspired by the bowling shirts that the 300 Bar staff were wearing was shot down. And did you know that when you ask for the vegetarian option in Spain it always includes chorizo, no matter what.
Yes, the Barchvists had fun at the 399 bar. The relaxed vibe and excellent variety of food was conducive to sticking around which we did, long enough for AH to rock up and assist us in finishing up the food and punch.
And it wasn’t just the Barchivists who were relaxed. So relaxed and laid back were the staff they did not even notice when MS, after so much time spent relaxing, calmly did a runner. Honestly, MS did not intentionally leave without paying, but as they had given us table service and brought his drink out to us it was quite easy for him, relaxed as he was, to leave without paying, which he did. We were all so relaxed that we didn’t notice either. Thankfully MS re-appeared a minute later realizing that something wasn’t right. But just about everything else at the 399 Bar is.