When you make a pub, there are a few sure-fire ways to be successful. 1. build next to a university, 2. well priced food and drinks 3. Quirky fixings – something to make it unique. Three simple steps that surely will have your pub a hit in no time. You’d have to be the worst businessman in the world to let that fail.

The Basement on Broadway is one such case of the “perfect” setting for a pub failing. It was built just metres from UWA, in between student housing. The drinks were the cheapest I have found outside of uni. The food was cheap, and very good! And its drawcard; it had a transparent urinal wall (one sided of course), so you could pretend to piss on the crowd. It had plenty of daily activities including quiz nights, student nights & cheap food nights, which regularly gathered decent crowds. Yet it still managed to fail, how?

Well, the start of its downfall was I guess a major point, the murder of one co-owner by the other is a good way to ruin your business. Despite this, the next owners had it all set up, they had popular quiz nights, famous $11 chicken parmies, the infamous urinal wall, and proximity to a very large student audience.

The next blow came in two. In one week they ruined Monday night at the basement. Formerly a quiz night (hosted by some excellent person!) with $11 chicken Parmigiana, at the start of 2011 the quiz night was replaced by a cheaper alternative, and the parmies were increased to $15, a good deterrent for tight-budget uni students vouching on a cheap meal and the chance to win beer. Originally the crowds still came but as soon as uni started the crowds moved to the university tavern, and captain Stirling another minute down the road.

The third brick in the wall was raising draught beer prices, and slashing the range. in 2010 Basement had 9 draught beers, averaging just $16.70 for a jug. Currently they have 6 draught beers averaging $17.40 per jug. Not much right? But take into consideration that they got rid of the 3 most expensive beers, yet the average price still went up. This was the biggest nail in the coffin, as university students could now get substantially cheaper beer at their guild tavern. The basements audience was gone.

The final nail was a face-saving attempt. Knowing that their university orientated tavern was now failing, the owners attempted to pitch the ailing tavern at older generations. 30-50 year olds. To do this they got rid of the novelty urinal wall, to make the place more “formal”. They started advertising more old fashioned bands with posters, a larger choice of wine & spirits came out, and the food was made even more expensive, to try and keep uni students away. This didn’t work. The older population around the area are on the other side of the suburb, closer to much more elegant pubs around riverside settings.

To this day the Basement remains an eerily quiet pub, with the occasional lunch crowd and quiet evening groups, just a freckle on its glorious past.

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