Fremantle’s West End is buzzing with rumours that Sunset Events will propose a scaled-down version of the rejected tavern and outdoor music venue at J Shed on Bathers Beach. The music events organiser has a 25-year-lease for the number one studio there.
The proposal for the venue was rejected by the City of Fremantle, the WA Planning Commission and the State Administrative Tribunal, so only heaven knows why the SE directors are still trying for the same, but a bit smaller.
From my memory SAT and the WAPC rejected the proposal because a tavern and live music venue were deemed inappropriate for the A Class Reserve in one of our state’s most historic areas. The number of patrons was not the issue for the two state bodies, but a licensed pub and music venue was.
I have no doubt that should Sunset Events put a scaled-down proposal forward it will again be opposed by Fremantle community groups and end up again at WAPC and SAT. Common sense tells me that these bodies will not change their ruling just because Sunset Events is reducing the number of patrons.
A small bar/cafe and art gallery would be nice there, but anything bigger is not on.
While I respect everyone to believe in whatever god they want to believe in I always find it disappointing on Christmas Day that most cafes and restaurants close, because there are many people, myself included, who are not Christian and who just want to have a nice coffee and breakfast.
So my research this morning found that on the Cappuccino Strip only Ali Baba is open, and just below in the Piazza Exquise is also open.
No cafes open in South Fremantle, but Lenny the Ox in Wray Avenue is open and in East Freo the Seven Seeds on Marmion Street as well.
Did you know that the lady at Exquise makes all the pastries in house herself and I hear the food at Ali Baba is very good, great fish&chips as well I was told!
Have a great Christmas Day and relax because tomorrow the hectic of shopping and sales already starts again.
While there is public and political outrage about the proposed privatisation of Fremantle Port and Western Power the privatisation of Fremantle’s historic Bathers Beach is well under way.
The Bathers Beach House became the first hospitality venue in Australia that is allowed to sell alcohol on the beach, but today they simply extended the beach chair bar with tables and umbrellas for alfresco dining on the sand. That is not on!
How many events and functions will this hospitality operator now hold on our public beach and will they simply extend the alfresco area onto the beach during busy periods. Who then could stop Kidogo Arthouse/Kelp Bar from doing the same?
Who at the City of Fremantle signed the permission for BBH to set up tables on the beach? What are they charged for using OUR beach?
The Fremantle QUEST serviced apartments hotel in Pakenham Street opened yesterday, so let your visitors know about this new accommodation in the port city.
It is very important for the Fremantle economy to keep visitors here over night, instead of them going to Perth or elsewhere, so the more tourist accommodation the better.
I have no issue with people not agreeing with the Australia Day changes Fremantle Council has made but I do object to the Fisheries Minister Joe Francis disrespectfully calling our Elected Members loonies and Fremantle Chamber of Commerce CEO Olwyn Williams suggesting on TV that it will have a major negative impact on Fremantle traders.
First of all there will be fireworks, so all the people who only came for the fireworks in previous years (and that was the vast majority) still can enjoy them. The reality is that most of the crowd only came to the Bathers Beach and Esplanade area after 5pm on Australia Day, so after most shops have closed and many West End cafes as well.
The Citizenship ceremony and entertainment on the Esplanade is never very well attended, so that has not attracted big crowds and lots of shoppers to the city.
Anyone who has been to the Freo fireworks and who lives in the West End will have noticed traffic jams everywhere immediately after the fireworks finish as most people go straight home and don’t stay around, so Australia Day was never huge for traders, but only for the take-away Fishing Boat Harbour traders, who will still get a large crowd on Australia Day for the fireworks but will now also get an additional big day of trading two days later when the John Butler concert is on the Esplanade.
Instead of whingeing about the City of Fremantle not doing anything on Australia Day the Fremantle traders should be grateful that there are now two events over two days that will bring additional business for them. Forget the politics and forget the emotional stuff about Australia Day and recognise that this is a better outcome for Fremantle businesses which will now have two busy days.
The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce can not genuinely claim that the City of Fremantle decision is going to be bad for business, as that is not backed up by facts from previous years. Shops in Fremantle never had a great shopping day on Australia Day, but the Fish&Chips traders did. That will not change because they put on fireworks themselves, but they will now also have a big second day of trading during One Day in Fremantle, and surely that is a good thing!
I had a look inside the renovated Atwell Arcade building and was very impressed with some of the stunning office spaces they have created on the first floor above Cotton On and the other shops in the High Street Mall.
There is no doubt in my mind that this development is good for the Fremantle retail and hospitality industries and our city overall.
Cotton On will open this Friday and looks very impressive and the modern arcade looks inviting.
Maybe some of the heritage character has been lost but I believe the development is a real gain for Freo and a milestone for the revival of Fremantle.
As I have said before the exterior of the new building is not outstanding but for me an acceptable compromise in this location because it angles away as a huge set back and it appears very soft against the blue sky.
The tiny French wine bar Whisper in Fremantle Essex Street is very Freo. It’s only small but well worth a visit if you like French wine and food. Baguette flown in from Paris, duck terrine, etc. Magnifique!
Have you discovered the New Orleans cafe at Phillimore Street in Fremantle’s West End yet?
Authentic N.O. food created by a New Orleans chef.
It’s near the corner of Cliff Street, opposite Artsource.
While the Maya Indian restaurant on Market Street changed into the Aunty G, bar the Epicure bar on the corner of High and Pakenham streets has got a new owner and refurbishment is happening there right now, so stay tuned. These are just small bars and minor changes in Fremantle but an indication of progress.
It is good to see so much happening and I can sense new optimism in our city. I have no doubt that in the medium to long run all that new development and new offices, hotels and retailers in Freo will have a positive and tangible impact for all ratepayers and residents and that Freo will prosper once again.
It has taken a very long time, but now we can finally see some light at the end of that long black tunnel.