THE future of Pica Bar is safe for another 10 years following a public campaign of support for the popular Northbridge venue.
Following an eviction edict from the indy bar’s landlord the Perth Theatre Trust in October 2018, Pica fans – who appreciated a chilled-out venue where getting glassed was unlikely – rallied to add 11,000 signatures to a petition calling on the McGowan government to step in.
The brouhaha reached Parliament and prompted WA arts minister David Templeman to tell the warring parties to sort it out. It emerged during question time that Pica Bar believed it had been overcharged outgoings for more than five years. The PTT (which wanted to run the bar itself) offered a part-payment settlement just a week or so after telling bars owners Brian Buckley and Melissa Bowen they were to be evicted.
After lengthy negotiations and a trip to the State Administrative Tribunal over a contested lease conditions, a five-year lease was signed two weeks ago, with a further five year option. Mr Templeman said the bar would be spruced up to better complement the PICA gallery next door.
“We acknowledge the great love that the people of Perth have for this bar and the energy it provides to the Perth Cultural Centre,” he said.