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Watering hole raises the bar
Watering hole raises the bar

It seems the perfect WA small bar sells wedges and nachos, makes a cocktail called "sex on the beach" and is in Rockingham.

That's according to the Small Bar Association of WA, which this week awarded Rockingham's R Bar the title of WA Small Bar Of The Year for 2012.

"We're all super excited," R Bar co-owner Siobhan Gavin said.

"It's great for Rockingham, too, considering the undeserved criticism it sometimes gets. It's a regulars bar, we know about 90 per cent of the customers by name."

The 50-seater on the beachfront has a compact wine list and a popular and colourful cocktail list.

But the award has not been without controversy.

"Congratulations all round of course but it's hilarious," Cottesloe small bar operator Rhys Lloyd said.

"When you consider the quality of some of the top bars in town like Five Bar, Helvetica and The Wine Store in East Fremantle, it's very strange."

The Small Bar Association says the controversy is unwarranted.

"The award was judged by popular vote and R Bar scored the most votes," association secretary Dan Mossenson said.

The public was invited to vote for their favourite bar online, with 1637 votes cast over a four-week period.

Hula Bula Bar (Perth), Clarences (Mt Lawley), The Classroom (North Perth) and Frisk Espresso (Northbridge) rounded out the top five.