Good news! For the first time in 14 years the Fishermen’s Co-op building at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach is for sale. The landmark building that once was home to MacDonalds, Dome cafe and Waggamama has stood as an almost vacant eyesore at one of our prime tourist destinations. Only the Sweetlips fish&chips shop survived and the French restaurant Poisson D’Or on the top level is relatively new.
A micro brewery wanted to make the building its new home earlier this year but decided not to pursue the plans after the due diligence period. It was reported that the present owner demanded very high rents and many in the hospitality and tourism industry believed it was not viable to start a business at the Co-op building because of that.
This is a great opportunity to do something special with the building and make it another tourist attraction at the historic beach. Fremantle is hanging out for some small bars in the area, so the right operator could well make it an iconic destination. There are 20129 sqm to work with on two levels.
I am impressed with how professional some Fremantle cafe owners take their coffee and the baristas they let loose on us innocent caffeine addicts. Last evening I was invited to be one of four judges to help select additional baristas for the Moore&Moore Cafe in Henry Street and we’ll do the same again on Thursday evening. Freo small business owner of the year Simon Naber decided that was the way to go, and what a caffeine overdose it was. I am still buzzing and hardly slept all night.
The Baristas on trial had to make us Espressos, Cappuccinos and a coffee of their choice which we tasted and scored from 1-10. Although all baristas were experienced some did much better than others and the Espressos were the big challenge with quite a few too bitter and burned.
Good to know that when the new baristas join the crew they have been tested and found good enough to make great coffees and of course there is always more training on the job at M&M.
There is so much on this weekend at the Fremantle Festival that I am already talking to all the gods, fairies, and baristas asking them to keep the rain away that has been forecast, because it’s going to be bigger than ISAF, the Olympics and the New York super storm together in Freo town. Have a look what’s on.
* The End of Deckchair party is at Victoria Hall from 6.30.
* Head to Leake Street at 8pm for Gette Immense Intimite by French group Retouramont. They have never been seen in Australia before and are fantastique! according to Fremantle Festival guru Alex Marshall.
On Saturday there is:
* The Barista Competion at the Town Hall from 9am all day.
* Wardarnji Aboriginal Festival at the Fremantle Arts Centre from 12 midday. Music, dancing, bush tucker.
* Opening of indigenous artist Krocette at Kidogo Art House on Bathers Beach at 6pm.
On Sunday you can enjoy:
* The Tweed Run will start at the Esplanade in the morning to ride to the Cappuccino Strip, so get out the old bike, dress up and take part.
* The Children’s Festival is on at Samson Park from 10am-3pm.
* The Coffee Festival will be on at the strip from 11 am. Overdose on caffeine.
* W.A. Youth Jazz Orchestra will be playing at the Fremantle Art Centre. It starts at 1 pm, so one hour earlier than the usual courtyard music!
* Fremantle Designers Fashion Show at the Moores Building Art Centre in Henry Street at 6 pm.
* Jazz in the Park is on at Samson Park from 5-7 pm
and of course one should not miss the Sculptures on the Street at Wood and Blinco Street, the Pop-Up Shops in the Woolstores shopping centre and art shows around town.
For all festival information check out the City of Fremantle website, and the Festival Facebook page
Bored in sleepy old Freo where nothing ever happens? Get a life! ; >)
They have done it again down in Hulbert Street in South Fremantle! Shani Graham and Tim Darby‘s ECOBURBIA won the 2012 Banksia Environmental Award
in the small to medium business section. The Banksia is Australia’s most prestigious environmental award with hundreds of applicants. The announcement was made at a gala dinner in Melbourne while the Ecoburbia crew gathered in Hulbert Street eating homemade pizzas.
The Banksia come on top of Ecoburbia’s 2011 Western Australian Environmental Award and the 2012 Fremantle Chamber of Commerce Sustainability Award, so all the dedication, commitment and hard working is paying off for Shani and Tim. Well done and congratulations!
There is a new building on the Fremantle Esplanade next to the Skywheel. It’s the Sea Circus and promises fun for young and old. They plan to be open seven days a week and entry is only $ 6.00, so let the kid’s have a try next weekend when you come to town for more Fremantle Festival fun! It’s good for birthday parties as well.
Hendrik Dijstra, the manager of the ferris wheel, told me two more fun rides will be built on the Esplanade in the next couple of weeks, so slowly we are getting our own mini Royal Show in Freo.
If you know your Latin from your Greek and if you like great music, dancing and food, it is time to turn up at the LATIN FIESTA at the Fremantle Workers Club in Henry Street this Saturday November 3.
Dance the night away to the warm Latin rhythms of Son Latino and enjoy Latin food and drinks at club prices.
Advanced tickets sell for only $ 25/$20 or at the door on the night for $ 30.00
Contact the Workers Club 9335 1840 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Online voting for the new board of the Fremantle Dockers club starts today and closes on November 26, so all Dockers fans out there who want to keep the Dockers in Fremantle and not move to Cockburn better vote for Chris Lewis one of the founders of the Keep Freo in Freo action group.
Chris is a well known and well liked Fremantle identity and highly respected in the public relations industry.
Chris said in an interview with the Sunday Times that the Dockers are a wonderful organisation, club and business, but that it was important that the club remained in Fremantle because it gives the club an important geographic and historic link.
If the Dockers stay in town it will mean the redevelopment of the Stan Reilly site next to Fremantle Hospital and an upgrade of Fremantle Oval, which would link the Cappuccino Strip all the way to Wray Avenue.
VOTE CHRIS LEWIS!
The 107th FREMANTLE FESTIVAL opened on Sunday with many big bangs as the Blessing of the Fleet procession snaked through the inner city from the Basilica to the Fishing Boat Harbour. Hundreds of people old and young followed the Madonna and boarded the fishing vessels for a ride around the harbour. I noticed Fremantle and Cockburn Mayors Brad Pettitt and Logan Howlet, Freo councillors Bill Massie and Andrew Sullivan, and March 2013 election candidates Simone McGurk and Matthew Hanssen in the procession.
The Blessing is a lovely tradition that vibrated through Fremantle all day with cannon fire and ended with a fantastic firework over Bathers Beach.
The only let down of the day was the highly promoted Seafood Festival. Five stalls and a stage don’t make a festival. It was pretty disappointing.
Photos copyright Roel Loopers – Profile Photography