Westraliana-themed bar opens in Perth bank vault

Tom Kearney (Jnr Vice Pres Foxtrot Unicorn) with drinks Kaguya's Dream, Anarchy Blues and 40 Seconds to Perfection. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.
Tom Kearney (Jnr Vice Pres Foxtrot Unicorn) with drinks Kaguya's Dream, Anarchy Blues and 40 Seconds to Perfection. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

NOT only is Foxtrot Unicorn a misheard lyric of Bloodhound Gang’s Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo, but it’s also the name of Perth’s new Westraliana-themed bar located in an old basement bank vault.

The 140-year-old space along St George’s Terrace used to home RNO Bank, Bankwest, the WA Club and most recently Fromage Artisans.

Co-owners Dimitri Rtzhiladze and Tom Kearney have worked on and off together for eight years within the hospitality industry, including working on the opening team of Mechanics Institute in 2012.

Mr Rtzhiladze said Foxtrot Unicorn had a strong local product and native ingredient focus when it came to creating drinks and food.

“Our Honeycomb Old Fashion uses local honey and wattle seed and some of the other drinks, like the Hibiscus Highlight, which includes indigenous ingredients in it as well,” he said.

“We have Westralian stuff around the walls, including old maps of the suburbs from 80 or 100 years ago…there are so many amazing flavours in or backyard we want to use before we use imported,” said Mr Kearney.

The grub is not the only locally sourced element, with every single piece of wood within the space repurposed.

“All furniture comes from an array of different bars and old pubs, some that closed down 30 years ago,” Mr Rtzhiladze said.

“Even our bar top is made out of the framework out of the Midland train yards a 100 year old piece of jarrah.

“I think a lot of bars in WA and Australia go for a theme but we didn’t want to be themed…we wanted to suit the building, WA and Perth – it’s just a bar built out of jarrah.”

When asked whether the abbreviated form of Foxtrot Unicorn being FU was intentional, Mr Rtzhiladze said the name meant “absolutely nothing”.

“A lot of bars have a theme and name that’s derived from the theme but it literally means nothing – when you look at old English pubs, they have stupid names and that’s where we drew inspiration,” he said.

Foxtrot Unicorn is currently offering three cocktail drinks for the entire month of February, with $2 from every drink sold being donated to DFES Volunteer Fire & Rescue.