Saturday, May 26, 2007

All Bar One

Remember that feeling you got when you turned 18? That elated sensation that suddenly, after years of skulking guiltily around pubs you could enter a bar, buy beer, drink lots and fall over and do it legally? Never again would you have to worry about slinking away, deflated, after being accosted by the doorman. Never again!

Unless you live in Perth.

Last night my wife went along to a bar where an old work colleague was having drinks to celebrate landing a new job. Stopped at the door, she produced her driving licence, displaying it in all its proof-of-age glory.

And was turned away.

The condition she had violated, she was told, was something of a surprise. She was barred for being Australian. In an Australian pub. In Australia.

The bar - and it's The Shed in Northbridge, for anyone wanting to know where to avoid in future - apparently refuses entry to anyone attempting to go in on their own unless they're a foreigner. It's a condition of their licence:

4. No persons coming to the premises alone, with the exception of any tourist may be admitted unless that person, by pre-arrangement, is to join or meet another or other persons who are included in the description contained in Condition 3 above

Condition 3 holds that only people 'with a linkage or association through work, recreation, invitation with others, travel or other common connections may be admitted to the premises'. So anyone who's there for work, fun or has been invited can be there - even someone passing through can get the nod. By that token a group of howling Millwall fans could get in, no problem, but if you're Australian and on your own, forget it.

You'd think no venue on earth would turn away a woman on her own wanting a drink on a Friday night, especially since at least fifty per cent of the people inside would be there on the look-out for someone exactly matching those criteria.

Seems local women aren't good enough, though.

Eventually overcoming the humiliation of being carded in her 30s, my wife did get in when her old mate popped his head out the door and granted her access. It's reasonably certain, however, that she won't be going back.

Leastwise not unless she's dressed in Dutch national costume and accompanied by the Eurovision judging panel.


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