Freo's View


Posted in bar, city of fremantle, city planning, development, heritage, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on May 6, 2020




Fremantle will have a heritage restaurant and bar in the two former courthouses in Henderson Street from next year.

Silverleaf Investments received planning application for the development of a hospitality precinct and five-storey hotel last year, but the $ 5 million courtroom restaurant and bar will be developed by Karl Bullers of the National Hotel, with new design coming from North Fremantle’s Slavin Architects.

There will be a 100 patron restaurant in one of the courtrooms and a 150 patron bar in the other, plus there will be a garden and pavilion that can accommodate another 450 people for functions.

The new development will add to the new hospitality district near Fremantle Oval, with the Old Synagogue and Freo Social already operating and the Warders tavern and boutique hotel development in Henderson Street well under way.

Roel Loopers




This message from THE LEFTBANK in East Fremantle:


We would like to offer a helping hand to any of our regulars and members of the community in need.

Thanks to the Government’s JobKeeper, we’re able to retain and pay our staff, however there’s currently no work at the venue – which is why we’re starting the Lefty Community Support Program.

While respecting the current social distancing rules, our team is happy to help with various day to day activities that could help someone in these unprecedented times – let it be picking up groceries, walking the dog or doing some gardening…

Simply send us a PM on Facebook or email with your details and we’ll try match you with Lefty crew members that can help 😊

For more details, head to our website:

Feel free to share this information with anyone you know that would appreciate the help.



Posted in bar, city of fremantle, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on March 24, 2020




Mojo’s Bar is closed but with your help we can reopen when the time is right. 

Firstly, We thank all our unique and amazing staff, artists, suppliers, neighbours and punters for making Mojo’s Bar the extremely special place that it is.

Mojo’s Bar is closed as result of COVID-19 pandemic. Being the intimate and unique venue that we are, for the safety of you, the musos, the punters, our managers, our staff and all others who call Mojo’s Bar home we cannot continue to operate.

Having closed last year to invest heavily in sound proofing, Mojo’s Bar, despite essential help from our supportive landlords, is not in a position to weather this storm.

The little bar that can, the bar that was always open, always cultivating new talent and is a safe space for all in the community now needs your help. We are fully aware that this is happening to every venue and that everyone needs help but as custodians of Mojo’s Bar/237 Queen Victoria St North Fremantle, a space that has presented live original music for close to 50 years, we know Mojo’s Bar in particular is worth fighting for.

Through sheer desperation with nowhere else to turn, Mojo’s Bar have opened this GoFundMe page to provide funds to pay overheads and liabilities outstanding such that we can then be in a position to reopen when it is safe to do so.

With your help Mojo’s Bar will always be there for all of Freo, WA, Australia & The World!

All contributions over $75 from those in Australia will earn a one off pressing “I helped save Mojo’s” T-shirt.

Click here to donate.




When will the Fremantle community find out the truth about how attractive the Kings Square Redevelopment Project is to retailers and the hospitality industry?

Last year it was reported that Sirona Capital has stated that retailers’ interest in the FOMO concept had been better than anticipated, but today the West Australia reports on their property pages on page 55 that the American-themed sports bar Varsity is the first tenant to sign up for FOMO, which is due to open in April this year, after a few delays.

There is no doubt that the coronavirus crisis will make business owners even more reluctant to sign up for commercial spaces anywhere in Australia and the world, so how well is FOMO doing in that regard?

Surely businesses who want to be part of the FOMO opening in a month time would have signed up a long time ago, but looking through the windows of the Kings Square buildings there is no indication of any shop fronts inside the buildings at ground floor level at all.

As a big supported of the Kings Square Redevelopment Project I am seriously worried, so maybe an honest update from Sirona Capital would be appropriate.

Roel Loopers




Fremantle Council last night approved a 10+10 year lease for the new Civic Centre triangle with Fremantle Doctor Restaurant and Bar Pty Ltd, after more than two hours of discussion and public submissions.

The public gallery was full, mainly with those who opposed the City giving the proponents a $ 500,000 incentive for the fit out and three years of rent free, but an amendment by Mayor Brad Pettitt will now see the operators having to pay 2% of their gross income during the third year and 5% of gross income for the fourth year.

Concerns were raised by public speakers about the impact alcohol has on our society, the possible noise and antisocial behaviour affecting St John’s church business, and if a bar close to the new playground is a good idea, and that a 20-year deal was reckless.

It was suggested the space could be used for an art gallery or indigenous centre or the City’s Visitor Centre.

Some Councillors expressed concerns and said they could not support the lease, but others said that Kings Square is not a noise-free zone but a city square of activities, but that the hospitality operators, the church and the city needed to work together to manage it.

Councillor Su Groome said she was disappointed with the lay-out and lack of family space, while other councillors said they were not impressed with the design of the cafe and bar, and questioned if the proponent had enough track record in the hospitality industry to make it a special destination for all.

Councillor Doug Thompson said that while it appeared to be a reasonable outcome he was not comfortable with it and could not support it, and others questioned if the criteria for the EOI had been right, since there was only a single proponent after over 130 hospitality operators had been approached to take on the lease. ‘Maybe the market shows u that we did not get the criteria right” Councillor Frank Mofflin said and Councillor Adin Lang agreed with that sentiment and wanted to defer the item.

There was fear among some Councillors that the City might not get a better offer, with Councillor Andrew Sullivan warning with doomsday, where the space could be empty for 10 years if Council did not approve the lease to the proponents.

We need a long-term lease and a financial return as it is part of the commercial property portfolio, and the space was always planned to be a cafe from the beginning.

A woman in the public gallery yelled at Council that they were a disgrace and stormed out, but Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge said we needed to understand that the term tavern does not do the proposal justice as it won’t be anything like that and just a bar and restaurant, but the plans were not amazing at all and she was not impressed with them, and Councillor Rachel Pemberton agreed.

Councillor Marija Vujcic read from a long prepared speech, and that was the first time I have seen that since I have been observing council business for the last 13 years. She said it was not Council’s role to undermine businesses by giving high financial incentives to lease the triangle. “This is a high risk project.”

Councillor Andrew Sullivan said that everyone had a vision for something amazing there, but the ideas what that would be are different, and it was never going to be a hipster and funky place, but a mainstream one for everyone. “It needs to be attractive to families, office workers, cruiseship tourists and the general community.” He said the worst risk was not to do something right now and leave the space vacant for years.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said it was a hard discussion, but he was pleased to get an outcome in a tough commercial environment.

If I counted right the decision was 7 for and 4 against the proposal, with Councillor Bryn Jones being absent on the night.

Now all we can hope for it that during the planning application process Council can force a more creative layout and fit out for the three spaces, and that the proponents will offer a great space that sits comfortably with the new planned port-themed playground just metres away.

It will be up to the liquor licensing department to approve a tavern license for the space, or not, and it will need to be seen if the proponents might want to include the street level, so that they can open that up as an alfresco bar at night as well.

Roel Loopers







The proposed hospitality venue on three levels of the eastern triangle of the new Civic Centre at Kings Square will be debated at the Ordinary Council meeting this evening, which starts at 6pm in the North Fremantle Community Centre.

The contract would be that the operator does not have to pay rent for the first three years, and only a rent of 5% of gross income for the fourth year, plus a $ 500,000 incentive from the City of Fremantle toward the fit out.

The biggest problem here is that it appears to be a take it, or leave the triangle vacant situation, as from the over 130 hospitality operators approached by the City only the current operator of Bar Orient in High Street has offered to lease the triangle. Fremantle Council is very much between a rock and a hard place, because it would not be a good look to have the triangle vacant and hoarded up when the Civic Centre and the new port themed playground open late this year, and Council is committed to having a cafe near the new children’s playground.

Roel Loopers



Fremantle’s Bermuda Triangle?


The hospitality triangle lease of the new Fremantle Civic Centre at Kings Square was the most debated item on the FPOL Committee agenda, and the public gallery was only allowed to hear part of it, since there were commercially confidential issues as well, so we were booted out.

I just want to make some general remarks about what has become a bit controversial in the community, because of the high financial incentives the City is required to give to the proponents of the three level hospitality venue.

Councillor Andrew Sullivan was very passionate in his support and pointed out the new building is part of the City’s commercial property portfolio and hence it should create income. I have no issue with that argument.

Sullivan continued to say it was an essential part of the Kings Square plan to have night time activity, and I agree with that as well, but that would have happened in a far better way if Fremantle Council had insisted on a residential and/or hotel component as part of their deal with Sirona Capital.

We should also consider realistically if the proposed hospitality business would last 20 years. Just look at what is happening right now: A new tavern will open in the Manning building, a new tavern in the Warders boutique hotel, an entertainment venue in the new Police and Justice complex in Henderson street, and no doubt there will be bars in the planned hotels at the Woolstores and Point Street.

All that in addition to the Federal Hotel, National Hotel, Newport Hotel, Sail&Anchor, the Monk, the Old Synagogue, the Norfolk Hotel, Freo.Social, and several small bars. All in a walking distance of five minutes or less from the proposed Kings Square venue! And there will probably be a bar or two in the FOMO centre as well.

Does Fremantle really want and need another alcohol venue, and at what cost to the ratepayers?

Yes, the $ 500,000 will be invested in the building, so it will be the property of the city, but if the proposed hospitality venue does not succeed what would an office do with a dumb waiter goods lift? And we heard that the third floor won’t be activated for at least another 18 months until the proponents have found their feet in the new venue.

I know that Councillors want the best for our city, but this is again a proponent driven venue and not the cafe and small bar that was initially on the cards. It smells a bit like the Sunset Events J Shed venue where Council have stars in their eyes and see something really big happening that they had not even considered in their wildest dreams.

The Fremantle community though might well believe this is more a case of Freo’s own Bermuda Triangle where ratepayers money disappears that we could have used to make a start on the urgently needed repairs of Arthur’s Head and the Roundhouse, as Councillor Marija Vujcic pointed out.

We all want Kings Square and the inner city to be activated and the redevelopment project to be a success, but we expect our elected members to be realistic and pragmatic, and I am not at all sure that this is the right way to do it.

Roel Loopers

and some friendly advise for our elected members. Please do not make this item a confidential item at the Full Council meeting, because the community would question Council’s transparency and ask what they have to hide!


Posted in bar, city of fremantle, development, hospitality, tavern, Uncategorized by freoview on January 20, 2020



The news that the owners of the Fremantle Metropolis nightclub will be investing one million dollars in the venue and upgrade the sound and light systems, shows that there is a lot of confidence in the future of our port city.

Just around the corner building work is under way for the tavern and boutique hotel between the Warders cottages and Fremantle Markets, and there will also be a new hospitality venue in the Manning building, that is nearing completion.

The success of Freo.Social and the Old Synagogue has shown that Freo has a lot to offer and there is a lot more to come.

Roel Loopers





I had another read of the Fremantle Council FPOL committee agenda item about leasing the triangle part of the new Civic Centre at Kings Square to the Fremantle Doctor Restaurant and Bar Pty Ltd, and it becomes evident that the proposed hospitality operators are expecting a large financial incentive from the City of Fremantle.

The commercial rent for the three levels is $ 233,100 per annum, but the proposed venue operators want the first three years to be rent free, and the fourth year to pay only 5% of the gross income of the venue, plus they want a $ 500,000 contribution from the City for the fit out.

I am aware that it is common to offer rent free periods for long commercial leases, and this one is 10+10 years, but I believe that paying half a million dollars on top of three rent free years, and only a relatively small rent for the fourth year is asking the cash-strapped City of Fremantle for too much.

Reading between the lines it appears that not many hospitality operators were willing to commit to Kings Square before it has proven to be a success, and of course the City is keen to lease out the space that will be close to the new playground, but is a cash incentive of $ 500,000 realistic?

New venues, such as the Old Synagogue and Freo.Social, have become immediate attractions from the start, and presumably run profitable businesses, so how far should Fremantle Council go financially to lure an operator for its Civic Centre hospitality part?

In that context I was disappointed to read in the Sunday Times today that the FOMO retail and food concept by Sirona Capital is now only due to open in June/July, while it had been on the cards for April this year, after the initial marketing for the Kings Square Redevelopment Project mentioned late 2019 as the opening date. I do however understand very well that in the current retail climate it must be a huge challenge for Sirona to find enough tenants willing to sign long-term leases.

The Civic Centre construction  is well underway to be completed in the last quarter of this year, and the State Housing Department is moving in in April with approximately 1,500 staff, so it is all pretty good, but it needs to hurry up.

The item is on the FPOL Committee agenda for this Wednesday and will then go to full Council in a few weeks for a final decision.

Roel Loopers


Posted in bar, bushfires, charity, city of fremantle, donations, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on January 3, 2020




Benny’s on the Fremantle Cappucino Strip is having a bush fire appeal this weekend, so go and support the good cause!

From every pint of Gage Roads Alby draught $ 2 will be donated to the NSW bush fire appeal, so this is one great excuse to have a few too many.

Robby Lang from the Fibonacci centre also wants to do a bush fire fundraising concert and they will be brainstorming at the Fremantle Townhall this Sunday the 5th at 2pm to see if they can get the support from enough bands to make it work.

What is happening over east is absolutely devastating and it affects so many families, businesses and communities, so let us all show the leadership that is lacking in Canberra and raise millions to help out!

Roel Loopers



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