Sassellas, up the stairs in City Arcade, opened in 1971 with the first tavern licence ever granted in WA – that is alcohol could be sold without the place having to offer accommodation!
On the balcony outside the view of the GPO building looms large in Forrest Place – it was there I began my working life not that long after Sassellas opened, and it was a popular spot for many after a day’s work – or a quick bite to eat at lunchtimes. And so it remains.
Sassellas provides hearty pub food – nothing too fancy – but substantial meals, served promptly. A range of burgers – fish, beef, pulled pork, mushroom – steaks, chicken schnitzel, salt and pepper squid, chicken parma, pasta, fish and chips, you get the drift.
The drinks list is reasonable, pretty good range of largely mainstream beers, and they serve Guinness on tap – I do recall some mates who used to drag me along years ago to consume this when not too many places around town had it other than by the can.
There is a small wine list but it has a few interesting drops – I quite like the wines from Pepperilly in the Geographe region and some of theirs make an appearance – Cabernet, Chardonnay and Shiraz.
But on the day we dropped past last week we ordered a “wine of the week”, Pocketwatch Cabernet Sauvignon from NSW’s Central Ranges – bright red, blackcurrant aromas with hints of tobacco and liquorice, smooth tannins, well balanced, easy drinking style – and sat out on the balcony looking out over my old work stomping ground and on the passersby in the mall.
We were only there for a drink or two before heading on to the station, but I could reminisce about the old days…
Once upon a time, when politicians didn’t continually bleat about their own security and weren’t concerned with choreographing and photo shopping every move, or earnestly calculating the travel allowance they can rip off the taxpayer gravy train, political rallies used to be held in Forrest Place and the balcony gave a good view of Whitlam, Fraser and others who had the courage – political, physical and moral – to face up to the voters, angry and friendly rather than cower in fear as they seem to do now. Ah, days of yore…. before the politics of bore
Anyway, Sassellas has a particular niche in the Perth CBD market and does it well; it is a pub pure and simple, and serves up tasty, hearty food, and cold beer, with a few nice wines thrown in for good measure. It is still a popular spot for a quick lunch, or a cold drink after a day’s toil and long may it remain.